Jose Mourinho made an effort to sign Christian Benteke from Aston Villa this summer before he eventually agreed to join Liverpool, reports the Telegraph.
Eden Hazard declared in June that Benteke's arrival at Stamford Bridge would make him "the happiest man in the world". After speaking with his Belgian playmaker, Mourinho agreed to pursue a deal for the striker.
The Special One sounded out Benteke's agent to see if he would be interested in a move to Chelsea. He would have to accept a second-choice role behind Diego Costa, but the 24-year-old was receptive to the idea of joining his compatriot and close friend, Hazard.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
However, any chance of a deal came to an abrupt end when the Chelsea board baulked at Benteke's £32.5million release clause. Tim Sherwood, who is no longer in charge of Villa, had made it clear that the club were not prepared to accept anything less than the full amount.
Liverpool were willing to pay it and eventually agreed a deal to sign him. He has started to pay back the mammoth fee with three Premier League goals in seven appearances.
Chelsea's belief that Benteke was not worth over £30m will certainly be in the back of his mind when he takes to the pitch in Saturday's game at Stamford Bridge.
Even if he scores, the Blues have already been punished for their decision not to sign him. In response, Mourinho agreed a season-long loan deal for Radamel Falcao, who has failed to impress in the same way he did at Manchester United in the last campaign.
Falcao has already fallen behind Loic Remy in the pecking order and talk of a January exit is already being mooted.
Ironically, a winning goal from Benteke in this weekend's could see Mourinho get the chop for the board's mistake. What a mess.
News Now - Sport News