Chelsea defender Gary Cahill very nearly became a Manchester City player three years ago, but their decision to pull out of a £17.5 million deal at the last minute allowed the Blues to sign the England international for less than half the price.
That is according to his former manager Owen Coyle, who was in charge of Bolton Wanderers when the commanding centre-back first began attracting serious attention from the Premier League's richest clubs.
Coyle knocked back enquiries from Arsenal and had given the green light for Cahill to complete a deal which would see Dedryck Boyata go the other way, but the deal collapsed as City decided to spend their vast resources elsewhere.
Coyle spills the beans
In an interview with Sky Sports News earlier today Coyle was asked about Cahill and waxed lyrical about the 28-year-old's progression since joining Chelsea back in January 2012, before making City looking pretty foolish by revealing they pulled the plug on a deal for the same player just six months earlier.
Coyle is quoted by the Daily Mail as stating: "The summer before he moved to Chelsea, Manchester City came in and offered £17 million and a player. That was going to be a huge deal. Obviously, something happened, so he stayed on at Bolton and it never materialised.
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Chelsea got an absolute bargain
"Come the following January in 2012, when it was Chelsea who came in, it was the right thing for him, no doubt.
"They got absolutely got a bargain at £7million. We were at the wrong end of the table and caught up in a battle but I'd always said we would do right by him and give him his chance."
City let Kompany's perfect partner slip away
There's no question that City's decision to pass on Cahill was the wrong one, particularly when you consider their struggle to find a reliable partner Vincent Kompany at the heart of their defence.
Martin Demichelis has just about used his experience to compensate for a lack of pace and power in the Premier League, but neither he nor Eliaquim Mangala has justified their place in Manuel Pellegrini's squad so far this season.
Boyata, Stefan Savic and Matija Nastasic have also failed to convince alongside Kompany, which makes the decision to do a u-turn on Cahill look all the more remarkable.
City's loss has been very much Chelsea's gain, with Cahill passing 125 appearances for the Blues last weekend in a three-year spell in West London which has included Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup success.
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