Chelsea launched a substantial bid for Juventus star Paul Pogba in the closing hours of the summer transfer window, according to L'Equipe.
Whispers have got louder and louder about this for some time. Panicking after failing to make any substantial signings throughout the pre-season, Roman Abramovich reportedly launched a last-ditch effort to bring the powerhouse midfielder to Stamford Bridge.
Now L'Equipe have launched the most definitive claim yet, saying Chelsea's bid was worth an incredible €95million (£75m), which would have been enough to smash the British transfer record (£59.7m).
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As previously mentioned, it will come as no surprise to Chelsea fans to hear this claim rehashed, but L'Equipe dive deeper into the situation, claiming that Juventus were happy with the amount offered and Pogba was open to discussing terms with the Premier League champions.
However, Juventus rejected the bid simply because it came too late in the transfer window and would have left them too little time to reinvest the money. Similarly, Pogba's representatives believed they would not have enough time to iron out what would have been a huge contract.
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Window closed forever
If true, it is an immense mistake from Chelsea who now have next to no chance of convincing the 23-year-old to move to west London. Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG and Manchester City will be amongst the clubs battling for his signature this summer, all of whom will likely be able to offer Champions League football.
After being named in the FifPro World XI in January, Pogba will undoubtedly have his pick of the bunch and Chelsea have fallen far from his viewfinder. Not even former Juventus manager Antonio Conte, who is believed to be in line to replace Guus Hiddink this summer, will be able to coax him.
Chelsea, of course, will be lucky to be participating in the Europa League next season after a disastrous campaign that saw them flirting with relegation at the turn of the year. With Jose Mourinho replaced by Hiddink, they have worked their way back up to 10th but face a struggle to keep hold of their best players this summer.
Summing up the summer
Chelsea spent much of the summer pursuing Everton defender John Stones, only to see their efforts fall short. Had Stones joined and Pogba followed, it is likely we would be looking at a very different Premier League table now while Mourinho may still be in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's problems ran much deeper than a poor summer transfer window, but the addition of two substantial stars would have surely made a huge difference to their season.