Bayern Munich attacker Douglas Costa has confirmed that he turned down the chance to join Chelsea before he moved to the Allianz Arena as he wanted to learn from Pep Guardiola.
The Brazilian moved to Germany earlier this year after excelling at Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine and he’s since become an integral part of the Bayern side.
However, the 25-year-old told Bild, as relayed by the Daily Mail, that he could easily have transferred to west London as Chelsea ‘made great efforts’ to clinch his signature.
"Chelsea also wanted to sign me," Costa is reported to have said.
"They were seriously interested and made great efforts. But I really only wanted to work with Guardiola and join Bayern.
"I made a conscious decision to join Bayern because of the presence of Guardiola. I was convinced that I would learn more at Bayern under Guardiola."
A missed venture
One thing’s for sure, Costa would have helped to ease the current malaise at Stamford Bridge. Getting goals has largely been a problem for Jose Mourinho’s men this term, but Costa has had a hand in nine in just 12 games for Guardiola.
The whole saga also raises an interesting debate concerning the ongoing, largely unspoken, rivalry between Mourinho and Guardiola.
Mourinho v Guardiola
The two are widely considered to be the best managers in the world; the fact that Costa specifically elected for the Spaniard over his Portuguese counterpart offers no illusion with regards to the side of the fence he’s sitting on.
In any case, Costa represents a missed venture for Chelsea. By the sounds of it, though, they couldn’t really have done anything more to tempt him to England.
Chelsea fans, would Costa have been a hit at Stamford Bridge? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments box below.