It is a well-known fact Chelsea were desperate to add strength to their defence during the summer transfer window with incessant bids for Everton centre-back John Stones, who was their primary target.
However, it appears the Blues also had a contingency plan in case Stones' deal fell through by keeping tabs on Valencia's Aymen Abdennour, whilst at AS Monaco.
The Tunisia international has admitted there was interest from Chelsea, claiming he could have left Ligue 1 for west London.
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According to Goal.com, the 26-year-old defender said: “There were a lot of clubs I could have gone to play for in England or in Italy, but in the end [Peter] Lim’s project was what attracted me.
"I felt really flattered by Valencia’s interest and it’s really good [to be here]."
On Chelsea's interest, he added: "Yes, it’s true that there was interest."
Abdennour departed the Stade Louis Stadium having initially joining the club on loan in early 2014 before signing permanently the following summer.
After just one season, where he became an instrumental part of the Monaco defence that conceded 26 goals, the Tunisian secured a move to La Liga giants Valencia, for whom he has made just six appearances despite being bought in replacement of Nicolas Otamendi.
According to the Daily Mail, the Blues were prepared to pay as much as £15 million for the services of Abdennour but withdrew from making any formal bid after Monaco increased their valuation at the last moment.
The former Toulouse star was ultimately sold to Valencia, who paid close to £22 million and signed him on a five-year deal.