Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has revealed Chelsea made "crazy" offers to lure him to the Premier League five years ago.
France international Ribery joined Bayern in 2007 and has gone on to enjoy tremendous success with the Bavarian giants, winning four Bundesliga titles, four German cups and a Champions League.
However the 31-year-old midfielder admits he came close to leaving the club in 2009 following Louis van Gaal's appointment at the Allianz Arena, with Chelsea and Real Madrid making staggering bids for his services.
"I was pulled one way and then the other, that made my head spin," Ribery told Bild, speaking after Bayern's 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League.
"I was on the verge of leaving. I then had two, three conversations with [Bayern's former general manager] Uli Hoeness and [then-chairman] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. And they were really cool, I will never forget that."
Ribery cost Bayern €25m (£20m) from Marseille but immediately worked to repay that fee, helping the club achieve a league-and-cup double in the 2007/08 season.
The Frenchman said that attracted "crazy" offers from the Premier League sides, fees of "60, 65 70 or even €80m."
Ribery's integral role in helping Bayern secure a treble success in 2013 saw him challenge for the Fifa Ballon d'Or award that year, although he was unable to disrupt Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's duopoly of the accolade.
The Real Madrid and Barcelona stars are again considered favourites for the 2014 award although Bayern shot-stopper Manuel Neuer is also in contention to become the first goalkeeper to win the award since Lev Yashin in 1963.
Although Ribery believes teammates Neuer and Arjen Robben are both deserving of the award, he believes football's biggest individual accolade is a closed shop.
"What can I say? For me, Manuel Neuer or Arjen Robben have to win it, there are only two views," he continued.
"Manu has won everything, is a good person, not arrogant. Arjen played an unbelievable last Bundesliga season and after that an excellent World Cup. But I fear that there is still a lot of politics."