Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain rejected a move to Chelsea during the recent transfer window because he did not believe he would be first-choice at Stamford Bridge, according to reports.
The Argentina international was approached by club officials during January, who sounded out a potential switch to the Premier League.
Chelsea were willing to offer more than £40million for Higuain’s services, according to the Daily Mail, but interim manager Guus Hiddink was unwilling to guarantee that he would start ahead of Diego Costa.
No formal approach was made to the player’s club and it is unclear whether the Serie A league leaders would have been willing to sell their top scorer.
Higuain, who moved to the Stadio San Paolo from Real Madrid for £33million, has scored 24 goals in 24 league games this season.
Costa’s form, meanwhile, has improved dramatically since Hiddink’s appointment at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazil-born Spain striker has scored seven goals since former manager Jose Mourinho’s departure, having only notched four times in his previous 21 games.
Chelsea remain keen to add to their forward ranks, with the likes of Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy unlikely to stay on at the club into next season.
Alexandre Pato, currently on loan from Corinthians and the club’s only striking acquisition last month, is still waiting to regain full fitness having not played a competitive fixture since November.Reuse content