Danilo D’Ambrosio has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to join Chelsea back in Jose Mourinho's first-stint in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Former Italian youth international defender D’Ambrosio joined Inter Milan last January after four relatively successful years with Serie A rivals Torino.
However, if the player is to be believed, then he could well have spent his formative years learning the game in the slightly faster-paced world of the Premier League.
“It is true, I was 16 years old and Chelsea wanted me," the 25-year-old full-back told Italian publication Calcio2000 in an honest interview that was brought to our attention by The Daily Star.
"I remember that we went to London, my father and I. It was his first plane ride and I remember that he was more tense for the journey than for anything else. I remember everything, the crazy atmosphere, the facilities, fantastic but, in the end, in agreement with my family, I decided not to go there…
“Why? There was a fear of being too hasty. Certainly, they offered me a nice contract, but my parents told me that money is not everything in life and also I did not want to split the family at that time."
While there is obviously no telling how D'Ambrosio would have progressed at Chelsea, it is worth noting that few young players have really gone on to make their mark in West London in recent years - particularly during Mourinho's two spells in charge of the club.
Rise to success
After spurning the Blues, things began to look somewhat bleak for D'Ambrosio, who was forced to ply his trade in the Italian lower leagues with Potenza and Juve Stabia after failing to make the grade with Fiorentina.
He moved to Torino during i Granata's spell in Serie B, however, and impressed during their recent rise before leaving for the world-famous San Siro as one of Inter's very first signings under the guidance of wealthy Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir.
Watch: The latest Chelsea transfer news
Chelsea's defensive strength
Chelsea's defence was the strongest in the Premier League during their trophyless 2013/14 season, with the Blues conceding just 27 goals in total - 10 less than eventual champions Manchester City and a whopping 23 less than second-placed Liverpool.
It is an area of Mourinho's squad that looks strong once again, with Thibaut Courtois having returned from his three-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid and former Los Rojiblancos teammate Filipe Luis also strengthening a backline marshalled brilliantly by the English duo of Gary Cahill and John Terry.
Chelsea - who many see as favourites to win the Premier League title this season - get their 2014/15 campaign underway on Monday night with a trip to Turf Moor to face Sean Dyche's newly-promoted Burnley.
D'Ambrosio and Inter, meanwhile, have a two-legged Europa League qualifying tie against Icelandic outfit Stjarnan to negotiate before they get back to business in Serie A at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino on Sunday August 31.
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