Ever since Roman Abramovich arrived at Stamford Bridge in the early 2000s, Chelsea have been one of the dominant forces in the transfer market.
This has seen the club pull off some eye-catching deals, some not so much, but the Blues have seen a plethora of talent come and go over the years at Stamford Bridge.
However, this has not always been the case, as some deals quite simply did not make it that far.
The Blues have missed out on plenty of players and plenty of world-class talent in years gone by.
Here’s what an XI of the players Chelsea nearly signed would look like.
The Nearly Chelsea XI: Players that Chelsea could have signed but didn't
GK - Alisson
Chelsea knew they were going to need a new goalkeeper this summer and Alisson was one of the first names they turned to.
However, the Brazilian turned down a move to Stamford Bridge and opted to join rivals Liverpool, leaving Chelsea scrambling for a shot-stopper late in the window.
RB - Danilo D'Ambrosio
The established Italian defender may not have ever fully achieved his potential as a player, but he was certainly a promising youngster.
He rejected a move to Stamford Bridge as a teenager because he believed he was too young for such a move, “I was still too young, as I was only 17 years old. I had a trial and they were ready to give me a five-year contract, but I would’ve had to move my mother or father. They were working, I didn’t want to split the family up.”
CB - Medhi Benatia
Benatia had a trial at Chelsea during Jose Mourinho’s first stint in charge.
Chelsea were so keen to sign him, they lodged him with Didier Drogba and Claude Makelele in a bid to convince him, but he did not want to leave his current club Marseille.
CB - John Stones
The inability to seal a deal for John Stones was one of the major downfalls of Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea.
The Blues chased the defender’s signature throughout the summer window with no clear back-up plan.
Chelsea were convinced a deal was going to be done, but Everton refused to sell and he would go on to join Manchester City.
LB - Luke Shaw
Chelsea were one of the many teams to be linked with a move for Luke Shaw when he left Southampton.
All of the Premier League big boys were looking at the young defender, but Mourinho refused to spend big on him, criticising the player’s wage demands for someone so young.
The former boss said it would have ‘killed’ the club, ‘If we pay to a 19-year-old boy what we were being asked for, to sign Luke Shaw, we are dead,” said Mourinho.
“We would have killed our stability with financial fair play and killed the stability in our dressing room, because when you pay that much to a 19-year-old kid – a good player, fantastic player – but when you pay that amount of money, the next day, we would have had players knocking on our door.
“They would have been saying, ‘How is it possible I play 200 games for this club, won this and that, yet a 19-year-old comes here and gets more money than I get?”
CM - Steven Gerrard
Mourinho was very keen to bring the English midfielder to Stamford Bridge when the former Liverpool man was at the peak of his powers.
Chelsea made a big-money bid and Gerrard handed in a transfer request back in 2005.
The news caused outgrade among Liverpool fans and in the end, the midfielder stayed put.
The decision to stay put probably worked out for the best in Gerrard’s case, however, he may have avoided that awful slip?
CM - Andrea Pirlo
Carlo Ancelotti came very close to signing the Italian maestro during his time at the club.
An agreement was reached between both clubs, Ancelotti wanted his man and it looked like he’d get him.
The former Juventus midfielder recalls how a conversation with owner Silvio Berlusconi convinced him to stay at the club, “Carlo Ancelotti was my motivation for agreeing to head to London. But, in the meantime, Berlusconi had pulled out a second piece of paper. This time there were loads of names with ticks next to them, and one that had been circled.”
RW - Neymar
Chelsea have several meetings with Santos officials over a deal for the Brazilian.
The Blues, Real Madrid and Barcelona were all fighting for his signature when it became clear he was going to leave Santos to tackle European football.
Chelsea had big plans for him. The Guardian reports that Michael Emenalo met with the player and he wanted him to become ‘Chelsea’s Michael Jordan’ and lead the way for the Blues.
But it wasn’t to be. In what can only be described as a messy transfer, the Brazilian ended up in Barcelona and the rest is history.
LW - Ronaldinho
It has been widely reported that Roman Abramovich was ready to bankroll a move for Ronaldinho when Jose Mourinho arrived in London.
However, the latter was not interested, he had his eyes on Didier Drogba and requested the striker was signed instead.
The Brazilian himself has since confirmed the Blues were interested in signing him throughout his illustrious career.
ST - Sergio Aguero
Chelsea were on the verge of bringing in the prolific striker from Atletico Madrid in a £40 million deal back in 2009.
With a transfer ban looming around the club following the saga with Gaël Kakuta, Carlo Ancelotti needed to spend big and make an impact in the Premier League. Aguero was going to be the man to do so.
However, the deal never managed to make it over the line he would go on to join Manchester City.
He’s since broken record after record and constantly comes back to the haunt the Blues.
ST - Kylian Mbappe
How different his career could have been.
Chelsea had the chance to sign the striker before anyone else.
They had been gifted the opportunity to sign Mbappe at the age of just 11.
Following a scout recommendation, Mbappe featured in Chelsea colours, a 7-0 training-ground victory over Charlton.
He impressed, but not quite enough, as Goal reports. Chelsea wanted to bring him in for a second trial, but the player’s mother wanted a deal there and then, meaning the Blues missed out.