New Lyon striker Milan Baros claims he was on the verge of joining Chelsea from Aston Villa before leaving the Premiership for France on Monday.
The 25-year-old told Czech daily Sport the switch fell through due to Shaun Wright-Phillips' reluctance to leave the champions for Villa Park.
Baros said: 'I agreed [to the move] with Chelsea. It was practically a finished thing. Everything broke down over the fact Wright-Phillips did not want to go to Aston Villa.
'And coach [Martin] O'Neill told me that without any replacement, he would not let me go as he would not have any strikers left.'
Baros, who signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the Stade Gerland with Norwegian John Carew going in the opposite direction, admitted talking to Blues coach Jose Mourinho after the goalless Premiership game at Villa Park on January 2.
'We just spoke about the match,' said the former Liverpool frontman.
'Just after the game in the tunnel he told me that he wanted me to join the team and asked me if I was interested. I told him so. But it did not happen in the end.'
When asked if he was sorry the move did not come off, Baros replied: 'I would be sorry if I went to a worse club, but now I am at Lyon.'
The Czech Republic international admits he struggled during his time at Villa.
'I was injured, the club fought against relegation in the first season. They are close to the bottom again,' he said
'This does not help an individual and it is difficult to shine. And we did not play in Europe.
'I do not want to make excuses, Aston Villa was not a good contract for me and I am glad it is over.'