Ezequiel Garay confirms Chelsea tried to sign him this summer

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If John Terry's recent absence from the Chelsea starting XI, and the two defeats that have followed as a result, has shown us anything it is that the Blues have an issue at the heart of their defence.

Without their long-time captain, Antonio Conte's side have conceded five goals in two games and the likes of Gary Cahil and David Luiz have looked suspect at best.

The Italian manager clearly knows as much too, having spent much of the summer pursuing a new centre-back before re-signing Luiz on deadline day. And now, to the likely frustration of Chelsea fans, one of the west London club's rumoured targets has come out and confirmed that he turned down the Blues in the transfer window.

Argentina international Ezequiel Garay joined Valencia from Zenit St. Petersberg back in August in a deal worth a reported €20 million.

However, speaking to Spanish publication Plaza Deportivo, the 29-year-old has now revealed that Chelsea did come in with a late offer.

"Valencia had bet on me since a long time ago and it's a beautiful challenge for me to repay that trust," he said in the translated comments when asked why he signed for the La Liga club.

"Chelsea made their move one week and a half before the transfer market closed but I wanted to play at Valencia to repay the trust that they showed on me."

Considering their recent struggles, Garay's confirmation is another blow for Chelsea fans.

Having seen the club miss out on numerous targets including Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli, Blues supporters can now add the experienced Argentinian to their list of failed targets.

With 32 caps for his national team and 31 appearances for Real Madrid under his belt, the new Valencia signing would certainly have added a lot of experience to Chelsea's defence. 

And he'd have come a lot cheaper than the returning Luiz, too.

Clearly, though, it was Chelsea's haphazard approach to finding defensive cover that meant they missed out on this particular target.

Only going in for Garay in the closing stages of the window - presumably after having been denied on targets higher up their wish list - the Premier League club failed to convince the former Benfica man that they truly valued his signature.

Instead, he went where he felt he was most wanted, and Chelsea have been left with a Cahill-Luiz partnership that has failed to hit the ground running.

As a result, Conte will surely be desperate to see Terry return to full fitness as soon as possible as he looks to guide Chelsea through a difficult patch.

The latest reports suggest the former England captain will be ready to make his comeback in Chelsea's weekend fixture against Hull City.

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David Luiz
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