Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow in their attempts to sign Torino striker Andrea Belotti.
The Serie A club’s president Urbano Cairo has revealed he has spoken with his Real Madrid counterpart Florentino Perez over the Italian international.
Belotti was a summer target of the Blues, as Antonio Conte failed to lure him to Stamford Bridge, after reportedly seeing an offer of £63million rejected.
The 23-year-old is tied down at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino until 2021, where he boats a whopping £89m release clause to clubs outside of Italy.
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Speaking at an awards ceremony in Milan, Cairo said: “I was eating dinner with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and we were talking about contracts of players with huge release clauses and I mentioned Belotti.
“As soon as he heard of the clause for Belotti, who he didn’t know, it pricked his ears.
“If the clause had only been €20m, he wouldn’t have been interested.”
The 60-year-old has lauded his hitman, and has praised him for not letting his huge clause affect his performances on the pitch.
He added: “Belotti is an exceptional lad and he’s loved by everybody.
“He’s always kept his feet on the ground and remained humble, even when he’s had a €100m price tag slapped on him.
“He needs to be relaxed and he told me that he has not even thought about (the clause) even when he put pen to paper on his new contract.”
The former Palermo forward banged in 28 goals in all competitions last season, and has found the back of the net five times in nine matches this campaign.
Belotti featured for the Azzurri in their 0-0 draw against Sweden on Monday evening as Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.