Ajax manager Frank de Boer has revealed the club failed in their attempts to bring Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel back to the Eredivisie during the January transfer window.
Van Ginkel, 22, is currently on a season-long loan at AC Milan but his lack of first team action in Serie A has sparked rumours throughout the season of the deal being brought to a premature end.
Dutch champions Ajax signed midfielder Daley Sinkgraven, who also garnered interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, in January but manager be Boer admits the club were also keen on Van Ginkel, only for the Blues midfielder to reject their offer.
"We asked Van Ginkel if he wanted to move, because Davy Klaassen and Thulani Serero were not fit," De Boer told a press conference.
"At first we were looking at him and after that we focused on Skingraven for the future. Due to injuries we needed Sinkgraven right away. And besides that, Van Ginkel didn't want to come."
Van Ginkel has started two games for Milan in recent weeks but has spent most of the season on the substitute's bench. From late September until late January, the Dutchman made just one fleeting appearance off the bench for the Rossoneri.
While two separate ankle problems have not helped his cause, Van Ginkel's lack of game time in Italy prompted suggestions Chelsea had grown frustrated with the arrangement and were looking to bring the player back to Stamford Bridge in order to find him a new club.
However, both Van Ginkel and his agent were quick to dismiss such talk and insisted there were no problems in Milan.
Van Ginkel signed for Chelsea from Vitesse Arnhem for a reported fee of £8m in the summer of 2013 but his first season in the Premier League derailed after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.