I was just ‘hours away’ from joining Chelsea before the unexpected even

West Ham super star reveals he was ‘hours away’ from joining Chelsea before the unexpected even

West Ham star Edson Alvarez has revealed he was just ‘hours away’ from joining Chelsea while he was still at Ajax.

In the summer of 2022 – the first transfer window of Todd Boehly’s reign as Chelsea owner – the Blues made nine major signings, bringing in the likes of Enzo Fernandez, Raheem Sterling and Wesley Fofana.

But Boehly and then-manager Thomas Tuchel were keen to add another midfielder to their ranks and made an offer worth around £51m for Mexico international Alvarez.

Alvarez’s agent recently lifted the lid on Chelsea’s pursuit and said Ajax refused to do business after already selling several key players, including Ryan Gravenberch, Sebastien Haller, Lisandro Martinez and Antony.

The player himself has now opened up on his potential transfer to Stamford Bridge and says the move was so close a plane was waiting at the airport to take him to London.

‘Actually, in year three [at Ajax], I had to go to Chelsea, the plane was waiting for me at the airport,’ Alvarez told Fox Sports. ‘When Ajax told me you know what: “you’re not going”.

‘Whether people believe it or not, it doesn’t make any difference to me, I’m the one who is here and the one who is living it.

‘I was an hour away from getting on the plane and going to sign for Chelsea and Ajax told me: “you’re not going”. So, you’re not leaving, what do you do? There’s no way you’re leaving.’

While Alvarez missed out on a Premier League move in 2022, he arrived in the English top-flight a year later, joining Chelsea’s London rivals West Ham for £35m.

The Mexican has been a key member of David Moyes’ squad this season, making 35 appearances in all competitions and helping West Ham climb to seventh in the Premier League and reach the latter stages of the Europa League.

Discussing Alvarez’s potential move to Chelsea, agent Nathan van Kooperen told ESPN: ‘Chelsea were prepared to go very far. They wanted to do everything they could to bring him to Chelsea.

‘But Ajax had no replacement ready, so they weren’t prepared to cooperate. They thought [qualifying for] Champions League football was very important.’

Asked how Alvarez reacted to the failed move, when so many other Ajax players were allowed to leave, Van Kooperen added: ‘That made it extra difficult for Edson.

‘He saw his friends leave the club and it was Chelsea [who wanted him], where he could instantly become the most expensive Mexican football in history. It was difficult for him.’

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