Tiago Mendes has revealed how he received an attractive offer to return to Chelsea from Atletico Madrid this summer.
The experienced midfielder - whose initial spell at Stamford Bridge came during Jose Mourinho's first stint in charge - was linked heavily with a Premier League comeback during the early stages of the recent transfer window, but eventually decided to extend his contract with the La Liga champions until 2016 instead.
Such a decision caused many to doubt that Chelsea were ever actually interested in taking the Portuguese back to West London, although those particular suspicions would appear unfounded judging by Tiago's own words on the matter.
"The summer was very difficult. I want to explain [to] the fans what happened but there are some things that I can not explain because [they] are not important," the 33-year-old told Spanish publication AS in an interview that was brought to our attention by The Daily Express.
"At the end of last season, I received a great offer [from Chelsea] and it made me think about making a change."
While Tiago openly admits that he was the subject of a lucrative advance from Chelsea, he was also quick to insist that his mind was only ever focused on continuing to succeed at Atletico once he received the necessary assurances from manager Diego Simeone.
Committed to Atletico
"I spoke to Cholo [Simeone] and he told me he wanted me in the squad in the next training session.From then, I could only think of rejoining Atletico and wearing this shirt again.
"I am happy and grateful to everyone and to the club for having me back. I will give everything on the pitch to return their efforts," he added.
Having moved to the Vicente Calderon from Serie A giants Juventus on an initial loan deal back in 2011, Tiago proved a success in Spain and was eventually signed to a permanent contract.
He made 23 domestic appearances for Simeone's men during an incredibly successful 2013/14 campaign, with the former Lyon, Benfica and Braga man clearly proving his continued worth to Simeone.
Fabregas - A far better option
While missing out on Tiago may have come as a disappointment for Chelsea boss Mourinho at first, his subsequent decision to sanction the purchase of ex-Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona will have provided a swift antidote.
Though the new top-flight season is still in its very early stages, the Spaniard - along with international teammate Diego Costa - has so far proved an inspired signing and looks to be forming quite a partnership with Nemanja Matic in the heart of midfield.