Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger was reportedly hours away from joining Tottenham Hotspur on deadline day but decided against crossing the London divide.
The Blues currently find themselves overstaffed in the centre of defence and Frank Lampard was keen on trimming down his squad to reduce the wage bill, with Rudiger among the names linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge.
Tottenham were said to have sounded him out, with Jose Mourinho said to be an admirer, while West Ham were also interested in his services.
The Hammers also sought youngster Fikayo Tomori and Lampard was said to be eyeing the possibility of using one of the defenders as a makeshift in his ploy to bring Declan Rice from East London.
Both clubs reportedly agreed a fee for the loan transfer of Tomori, but the player also backed out of the deal elected to remain in West London to fight for his place.
This leaves Lampard with five senior centre-backs in his team, with Rudiger and Tomori beneath Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, and Andreas Christensen in the pecking order.
Positive discussions held with Jose Mourinho; Antonio Rudiger wary of upsetting Chelsea fans
Jose Mourinho was keen on strengthening his defence this summer and he identified Rudiger as an option.
The possibility of a switch to the Tottenham Hotspur was high, but the 27-year-old made a dramatic U-turn and decided to remain at Stamford Bridge to fight for his place in Lampard's squad.
His major reason for backing out of the move to Tottenham was in order not to upset fans of Chelsea by playing for one of the club's biggest rivals.
The Germany international joined Chelsea from AS Roma in 2017 and was a key player in his first two seasons, but injuries limited his impact in Lampard's first season as manager. Rudiger made just 20 league appearances last season and blew hot and cold at the back for the Blues.
Beyond Tottenham and West Ham, a move to his former club AS Roma was also mooted, but the Italian side instead snapped up former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling on deadline day.
Spanish giants Barcelona also attempted to make a move following their disappointment with Eric Garcia, but had little time to launch an effective bid.
Following his decision to stay back, Rudiger would attempt to win his place back in Lampard's squad as the Blues look to get back to the summit.
Published 06 Oct 2020, 20:30 IST