Valencia centre-half Ezequiel Garay was high on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s summer wishlist but the Argentine defender has revealed he rejected the chance to move to Stamford Bridge, according to Plaza Deportivo.

Antonio Conte was vocal in his desire to land an extra central defender to his squad over the course of the transfer window and ended up bring former charge David Luiz back to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day.

However, a host of other leading European defenders were mentioned as possible targets but did not work out for one reason or another.

Garay moved from Russian side Zenit St Petersburg to Valencia late in the window, but the latest report suggests that the South American enforcer had the opportunity to become a Blue.

However, the former Benfica and Real Madrid man opted to sign for the Mestalla outfit rather than switching to the Premier League.

“Valencia bet on me a long time ago and it is a great challenge for me to be here due to the big confidence they showed in me,” Garay has stated.

“[The offer] from Chelsea emerged a week before I completed the move to Valencia but Valencia had been my choice from the very first moment.

“I wanted to play here because of the importance of this club. I had to repay the confidence that Valencia showed in me.”

Chelsea are being tipped to switch to three central defenders in the near future – a system that Conte knows well from his time in charge at Juventus and the Italian national side.

 As such, having a player of Garay’s quality and experience at his disposal would have been a real bonus – but the West London club will now have to look for other targets.

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