Borussia Monchengladbach attacking midfielder Thorgan Hazard now claims to be unsure if Chelsea have a buy-back option on his services after all, but believes the lack of one would not provide a barrier in terms of sealing a potential return to Stamford Bridge.
Thorgan is one of three Hazard siblings to have been signed by the Premier League champions in recent years, with older brother Eden having become arguably their most important player and Kylian, two years his junior, having joined their development ranks from Hungarian side Ujpest in August. Teenager Ethan is currently in the youth academy at Tubize.
Thorgan actually swapped Lens for west London in 2012 just one month after Eden was signed in a £32m deal from Lille, although was immediately dispatched to his native Belgium for consecutive season-long loan spells with SV Zulte Waregem.
He was later loaned to Gladbach, where he impressed before agreeing a permanent five-year contract for a reported €8m fee in February 2015.
While Thorgan never made a single senior appearance in English football, Chelsea confirmed after his sale that they retained the right to exercise a future buy-back option and would "continue to monitor his progress".
Little was initially known about the financial details or specific length of that clause, yet German publication Bild claimed last September that is was worth €15m (£13.2m, $17.5m) and crucially expired at the end of 2016.
Gladbach director of sport Max Eberl sparked further confusion when he flatly denied that any active clause ever existed.
Speaking to French football magazine Onze Mondial this week, the 24-year-old, who stated upon his exit that he still hoped to play for Chelsea one day, claimed to have heard conflicting reports over that mystery buy-back option but insists it would make little difference to his former club anyway if they were intent on securing his return.
"To be honest, even I don't know if there is one," he said. "My father [Thierry Hazard] deals with that now. Sometimes, I hear there is one. Here, I'm told there isn't. Frankly, I don't know.
"It's not that I don't care, but I don't think about it. I'm happy here. If Chelsea want to buy me back one day, I think they'll do it, that's not an issue. Actually, if there is or isn't one, it's the same, really. If Chelsea want me, they'll pay for my transfer and they'll take me back. It's just a detail."
Versatile number 10 Thorgan has made 133 appearances in total across all competitions in more than three years with Gladbach, scoring 30 goals and providing 32 assists. This season, the Belgium international has netted five in 14 outings, including a penalty in Saturday's (18 November) impressive 4-2 win at Hertha Berlin to help Dieter Hecking's side, mid-table finishers in 2016-17, move up to fourth place in the Bundesliga.
He has also earned seven caps for his country since being handed his senior debut before the 2014 World Cup and replaced an injured Eden in the squad earlier this year. He recently came on for his brother during the closing stages of a 3-3 friendly draw with Mexico before starting in a 1-0 defeat of Japan in Bruges.