The agent negotiating Ronaldinho's move to Milan has claimed that the Brazilian has snubbed a bid from Chelsea.
Milan are firm favourites to land the Brazilian super-star, currently sidelined with a thigh injury, although city rivals Internazionale retain some hope that they could snatch him.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been a long-term admirer of Ronaldinho and has tried to sign him before and it is not a shock that they have again tested the water with Barca now ready to do business.
But Ernesto Bonzetti - who is the intermediary for Milan in the talks with Barcelona over both Ronaldinho and Gianluca Zambrotta - has claimed that the player has shunned Chelsea.
"Few can afford Ronaldinho, so Milan and Chelsea are the clubs who have sought him out most insistently," Bronzetti told RAI.
The Italian claimed that Ronaldinho - who was so close to joining Manchester United before he went to Barca - does not want to play in England.
"Ronaldinho doesn't really like English football though, he much prefers Milan."
Milan have already agreed terms with Ronaldinho but they need to finalise a fee with Barca although they are also trying to sign Zambrotta in the same deal which means it will be slightly more complicated.
Also complicating the issue is Inter, who it is claimed are trying to use their own kit sponsors Nike to try and persuade Ronaldinho to join the blue half of Milan.
Nike sponsor, Ronaldinho and Barca as well and Inter hope they can play a role - but Milan remain favourites and hope to conclude a near £20million double deal for the two players by next weekend.
Meanwhile, Milan chief Adriano Galliani - who is expected in Catalunya next week to finalise the deal - does not believe the fact that they may not be in the UEFA Champions League next year will have any bearing on the deal.
"We want to achieve a Champions League place, but Uefa Cup wouldn't be a tsunami," Galliani told Sky Italia.
"Ronaldinho? For the market there is time, but I want to say that Ronaldinho joined Barcelona the first year to play Uefa Cup. After the Uefa Cup he won also the Champions League and many other things with the Spanish side."
Galliani admitted that the two clubs had yet to strike a deal.
"On Saturday there has been a conference call with Barcelona and we spoke about numbers that don't coincide. It's not Ronaldinho who will say he arrives, we will say. For the moment we are thinking about the league."