Former England manager Steve McLaren rejected the chance to sign hotshot Chelsea striker Diego Costa during his time in charge of Dutch club FC Twente, it has been claimed.
The Spanish international has been in good form this season despite a recent slump and has scored 18 goals in 22 Premier League games to help fire Chelsea to the top of the table with ten games to go.
Last season he helped fire Atletico Madrid to the Spanish league title, while they fell just short against Real Madrid in the Champions League final. However despite his pedigree the Brazilian-born ace was once judged as not good enough for the Eredivisie.
That's according to former Dutch footballer Jan Mulder, who said the former England and Middlesborough boss wasn't impressed with what he saw during a trial.
"I heard that Diego Costa had been tested in the Netherlands at FC Twente," he said. "I've heard through inside information."
Costa went on to re-sign for Atletico Madrid after excelling with Real Valladolid, and from there he joined Chelsea over the summer in a deal said to have been worth £32 million.
Return to form
He was back on the scoresheet against Southampton over the weekend - his first strike since January - but that wasn't enough to help the Blues bag all three points as Dusan Tadic levelled things up from the penalty spot.
Despite the dropped points Chelsea were still able to extend their lead over Manchester City at the top of the table after Manuel Pellegrini's side suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against Burnley. Jose Mourinho's side now have a six point advantage over their rivals with a game in hand.
Football is littered with tales of missed opportunities - just ask Arsene Wenger about all of the superstars he's narrowly failed to sign.
Diego Costa is certainly an interesting case and something of a late bloomer. Atletico Madrid let him go after he flopped in his first spell, and it's only in the past few years that he's really announced himself as a top level striker.
Steve McLaren has made some pretty big mistakes in his career, but we'll let him off of this one.
Have you been surprised by how good Diego Costa has been this season?
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