Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez has claimed that Chelsea made a £36.5m bid for him during the January transfer window, an offer that was rejected by the Bavarian club.
Reports in Germany suggest that Chelsea moved for Gomez on deadline day last month, as an insurance policy against the possible collapse of their move for Fernando Torres, that was eventually successful late on the transfer window's final evening.
"I only found out about the offer after the club had turned it down," Gomez told the German newspaper Bild. "But it wouldn't have mattered anyway. I am already at a top club and I am playing where I always wanted to."
Gomez, 25, is the top scorer in the Bundesliga this season with 16 goals in 14 starts, putting him ahead of Papiss Demba Cissé of SC Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt's Theofanis Gekas. He is in his second season at the Allianz Arena, having joined Bayern from Stuttgart in May 2009 for a Bundesliga record fee of over £25m. He played some part in Bayern's success last season, scoring 14 goals as Louis van Gaal's side won the Bundesliga, the German Cup and reached the final of the Champions League where they lost 2-0 to Jose Mourinho's Internazionale. It was Gomez's second German league title; he won it in the 2006-07 season with Stuttgart, the club where he began his senior career.
Gomez has 41 international caps and has scored 14 goals for Germany. He was part of the squad that finished second and third in Euro 2008 and last year's World Cup respectively, but he failed to score in both tournaments.
Chelsea succeeded in buying Torres on 31 January for £50m, a British record fee. He made his debut against former club Liverpool last Sunday, but was substituted after 66 minutes. Raul Meireles scored three minutes later and Liverpool eventually won the game 1-0.