It is claimed that Chelsea might need to pay Napoli £7m if they want Maurizio Sarri, even though he has left the Italian club and been replaced by former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The Sun is among UK newspapers to have picked up on reports in Italy claiming that Napoli are demanding the full £7m release clause for Sarri even though he is no longer in the job.
Chelsea are said to have offered £3.5m and been told double that amount will be required.
It follows recent reports that Sarri believes he is close to taking over as Chelsea boss.
The Telegraph recently that reported Sarri is desperate to land the job and believes he is close to being offered a two-year contract with the option of a third year.
The Guardian have suggested Chelsea face competition from Zenit St Petersburg.
It was claimed that he has received an offer from the Russian club understood to be worth around £5.2m a year.
The Blues are widely tipped to replace Antonio Conte, who has a year remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge.