Andre Schurrle has admitted it would have been hard to turn down the chance to join Chelsea if Bayer Leverkusen had accepted an offer from the Blues for his signature.
Leverkusen rejected Chelsea's offer -reportedly £20 million - for Schurrle, 21, as the Bundesliga club felt they would be unable to find a suitable replacement.
"I don't think you would find any player in the Bundesliga who would say that they would not at all be interested," Schurrle said.
"Chelsea would have been very interesting for me. You don't get a chance like that very often in your life."
However, Germany international Schurrle, who joined Leverkusen from Mainz in 2011, respects his club's decision.
"[Director of sport] Rudi Voller has explained the reasoning to me several times," he told Kicker magazine. "They could not find a suitable replacement and I am too important to Bayer."