Chelsea failed in a bid to bring former Amiens striker Serhou Guirassy to the club during the summer, according to the French club's director of sport.
The 24-year-old emerged as a target for several Premier League clubs after impressing with nine goals in 23 appearances in France's top flight last season, however he ultimately rejected the chance to move to England.
Instead the Frenchman remained in Ligue 1 following Amiens' relegation, making a £13.5m switch to Champions League qualifiers Rennes - a side who find themselves in the same group as Frank Lampard's Blues in Europe's premier club competition.
Guirassy has made a solid start to life with Les Rouge et Noir, scoring four goals and providing one assist in his 12 games so far. The front man started against Chelsea on matchday three of the Champions League last week, but was withdrawn with 15 minutes to go with his side on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline.
It has emerged that he could have been lining up against his current club if he had made a different decision in the summer. Amiens sporting director John Williams claims Guirassy 'refused' a move to Stamford Bridge during the transfer window, amid understandable concerns over game time.
“Serhou made a sporting choice when he could earn more money with the London team. He wanted to continue in a club where he was sure to have some playing time and not relive an experience like the one in Koln where he was a substitute.
“The choice fell on Rennes because coach Julien Stéphan assured him that he was counting on him.”
The fates of several overlooked former second and third-choice Chelsea strikers will doubtless have influenced Guirassy's decision, who endured a frustrating four-year spell himself in the Bundesliga with Koln, making just 45 appearances.
Frank Lampard has Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham in fine early season form, while Olivier Giroud is still at the club too, so there seems to be limited space. Tottenham, West Ham and Crystal Palace are named as other interested parties during the past window.
Guirassy will be hoping for a better result against his would-be suitors when Rennes host Chelsea in the first round of Champions League games after the international break later this month.