Premier League giants Chelsea offered €50 million to sign Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj, according to his agent.
Hysaj, who has been linked with some top European clubs in the past, was close to being reunited with former manager Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, but Napoli declined the offer.
Chelsea wanted to reunite Hysaj and Sarri
Sarri replaced fellow Italian Antonio Conte at Chelsea, taking over the managerial duties in 2018. He lasted only one season at the club despite winning the UEFA Europa League.
The manager made his name at Napoli, where his style of play was widely appreciated. Players like Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens, Hysaj, Allan and Jorginho all found their feet at the Italian club under the management of Sarri.
Hysaj was not the only Napoli player targeted by Sarri after his move to Chelsea. Midfielder Jorginho, who was close to a move to Manchester City, decided to join the Blues for €57 million after Sarri persuaded him to do so.
Chelsea did not sign any full-backs during the Italian's short tenure at the club. Instead, they invested in Jorginho, goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and midfielder Mateo Kovacic. They also signed another former Napoli player, striker Gonzalo Higuain, in January on loan.
Hysaj, meanwhile, continues to be a Napoli player. The 26-year old, who joined the club from Empoli in 2015, has made nearly 200 appearances for the club in all competitions. Although a right-back, the Albania international has been utilised as a left-back as well.
Chelsea, on the other hand, sacked Sarri and appointed Frank Lampard in 2019. The Chelsea legend enjoyed a good first season at the club, finishing fourth last season despite a transfer ban.
The Blues were extremely active in the window gone by, bringing in German attackers Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, midfielder Hakim Ziyech, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, veteran centre-back Thiago Silva and left-back Ben Chilwell.
There have been doubts raised over Lampard after inconsistent performances despite heavy investment, but it seems unlikely that the club will part ways with a manager who has generally done well and incorporated Chelsea's talented academy players like Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James into the squad.
Published 14 Nov 2020, 16:54 IST