Valencia's David Albelda has revealed that he rejected the chance to join Chelsea in early 2008.
At the time, the Spanish midfielder was in dispute with the club President Juan Soler who forced then manager Ronald Koeman to sideline him, Santi Cañizares and Miguel Angel Angulo.
Current president Manuel Lorrente has reinstated Albelda to the first team but a loan deal was offered to him when Avram Grant was in charge of the Blues.
"Chelsea had the African Nations Cup coming up, involving Obi Mikel and Essien and they wanted me as cover," Albelda told the Guardian.
"The fact that it was a short-term offer was one of the reasons I said no."
Albelda did not completely rule out a move to Stamford Bridge or the Barclays Premier League in the future.
"I admire the English league and the atmosphere which is different to Spain, while players like me are more highly rated in England than here."
Whether Albelda would fit into a Chelsea midfield that could afford to leave Frank Lampard out when they faced Valencia last night is debatable, but the chance to link up with Juan Mata again could appeal to the Valencia skipper.