Borussia Dortmund missed out on the opportunity to sign Kevin de Bruyne from Chelsea due to Robert Lewandowski's decision not to move to Stamford Bridge, according to the club's chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.
The Belgian attacking midfielder failed to impress during a two-year spell with Premier League champions Chelsea following a £6.7m switch from Genk and exited the club for Wolfsburg in January 2014, after spending the previous campaign with Werder Bremen.
De Bruyne has since rebuilt and enhanced his reputation with a series of excellent displays at the Volkswagen Arena, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain just three of the clubs now said to be tracking his services.
In 50 appearances in all competitions to date this term, the 23-year-old has scored 15 goals and registered a formidable 27 assists to help Wolfsburg finish second to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and reach the last eight of the Europa League as well as the final of the German Cup.
If Dortmund had had their way, however, he would have made the transfer to Germany much sooner but for a failure to convince Chelsea to sell.
"It [signing De Bruyne] would have fitted well into the planning," Watzke told German publication build as reported by Goal before BVB finished an eventful campaign with a 3-2 victory over Werder in Jurgen Klopp's last game in charge.
"But the conditions could not be agreed. Chelsea were unwilling to let him go because they were angry that Robert Lewandowski had not gone to Chelsea."
Lewandowski's prolific form under Klopp led to a wealth of interest from several clubs in his signature but with his contract winding down, he eventually opted to follow in the footsteps of former teammate Mario Götze and joined Bayern for free last summer having made his controversial decision public months beforehand.
Chelsea went on to complete a deal for Brazilian-born Spanish forward Diego Costa in July 2014 and the former Atletico Madrid man has flourished with 19 goals in 25 matches during his debut season in England.
His sensitive hamstring, coupled with the possible departure of Didier Drogba, is likely to leave manager José Mourinho searching for further reinforcements this summer although he could be tempted to promote Patrick Bamford to the first-team squad following the latter's excellent campaign on loan under former Real Madrid assistant Aitor Karanka at Championship play-off finalists Middlesbrough.