Chelsea had an official offer for Franck Ribery rejected back in 2008, claims Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
30-year-old Ribery, who recently finished third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the race to win the 2013 Ballon d'Or, joined the Bavarian giants from Ligue 1 outfit Marseille back in 2007 and has become one of the world's most-accomplished talents during his subsequent seven-year stay in the Bundesliga.
However, if Rummenigge is to believed, then Bayern could have cashed in on the French international six years ago, with Real Madrid supposedly having made an enquiry and Premier League title hopefuls Chelsea even said to have made an actual offer for his signature.
"Ribery is a hero with the fans and it's a good thing that we didn't give in when Real Madrid and a few more teams showed an interest in signing him in 2008," he told TZ in an interview that was quoted by Goal.com.
"We solved everything like gentlemen with Madrid, although I must stress that there was no official offer. They made an enquiry and we closed the door on a move right away.
"We could have made a lot of money, because we also had an official offer from Chelsea that was utter madness. It was the right thing not to sell him, though."
The Bayern chairman evidently believes that such a steely resolve in the face of big interest in one of the club's players helped them develop a reputation as a club that does not sell such prized assets.
"That showed all clubs that Bayern are a buying club rather than a selling club. That's the way it works with the big teams. You don't stand a chance if a team like Barcelona or Madrid don't want to sell and the same thing goes for Bayern these days," he added.
One can only wonder what extra silverware could have been won by Chelsea, had such a move to bring Ribery to Stamford Bridge been successful.
While Chelsea have certainly not been short on quality during that particular period, Ribery is a truly outstanding talent whose ability to create havoc down the flanks would have been a joy to watch in the Premier League.
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