Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed he made an attempt to bring Radamel Falcao to Zenit St Petersburg before he eventually agreed to join Chelsea.
The striker has been linked with a move to the Russian team this week with both Chelsea and Falcao reportedly ready to cut short a season-long loan deal early.
After failing to impress at Stamford Bridge, Falcao finds himself way down Jose Mourinho's pecking order, behind both Diego Costa and Loic Remy.
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But while a number of Chelsea fans would be happy to see the Colombia international leave, Villas-Boas' fleeting interest in signing him has since ended.
Rules brought in by the Russian Football Association this year prevent any team from fielding more than six foreign players in a game.
The rule forced Zenit to sell Salomon Rondon to West Brom in the summer and the former Chelsea manager admits it makes it much harder to bring Falcao to the club.
“I haven’t had a conversation with Jose, the player belongs to Chelsea, on loan from Monaco,” Villas-Boas told the club website.
“It’s difficult to bring such a player to Russia with the rules and regulations we have.
“We tried to bring him here in the summer at the start of the season, but then the rules changed a week before the season started.”
Worst signing ever?
Having scored just four goals in 26 Premier League games for Manchester United, it was a surprise to see the Blues offer him another chance to impress in England's top flight.
Mourinho was confident he could get the best out of the 29-year-old, but after a disastrous start to the season, the Special One has changed his mind.
Currently earning £140,000-a-week at the Bridge, Chelsea will surely do all they can to get Falcao out of the club in the January transfer window.