Edin Dzeko has opened up on his proposed transfer to Chelsea in January, stating that he did not move as he is fully invested in his career with Roma and that he had no interest in leaving his home and family. The 32-year-old revealed that he was flattered by the interest but could not leave as the Serie A club forms an important part of his life.
Dzeko had emerged as the lead target in Antonio Conte's committed January quest to find an old-fashioned target man, with the Blues looking to complete a £44m ($62.7m) plus add-ons for the Bosnian international and Giallorossi teammate Emerson Palmieri.
However, the move fell through for the striker and the Italian manager had to settle for Olivier Giroud from Arsenal, with Michy Batshuayi going on loan to Borussia Dortmund. West Ham striker Andy Carroll, Stoke's Peter Crouch and Burnley's Ashley Barnes were the other names to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues will be happy to have landed Giroud, who has experience in the Champions League and will be eligible to play when they take on Barcelona later his month. However, Dzeko, who has previously played in the Premier League with Manchester City, has no qualms after rejecting a move back to England and stated that the decision was in his best interests.
"I am flattered by the interest from Chelsea but Rome is my home and my family is the Roma," Dzeko said, as quoted by L'Equipe.
"Chelsea is a club that I appreciate and respect," said the former Wolfsburg player. "In recent weeks, many stories have been told about my possible departure from Rome, but I'm still here ... Finally, I'm happy to stay in Rome, because it became my home and an indelible part of my life in an almost unreal way."
Meanwhile, Thierry Henry believes that Giroud did not want to move to Chelsea but it had to be done to secure his place in the World Cup later this year as he was not getting enough time on the pitch at Arsenal. The striker had started only one game in the league and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming in, he would then be third choice, further complicating his chances of playing more.
"What I like the most is, it's not like he wanted to go to Chelsea," Henry said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard. "No disrespect to Chelsea in any way, but it's happened.
"You can't have a go at him for trying to play a bit before the World Cup for a good team. All the very best. I hope people are not going to say anything bad about him because he does not deserve that," the former Gunners forward added.
"I thought he did what he had to do for Arsenal but on the other side the World Cup is coming, Chelsea are coming for you and they're ahead of Arsenal at the minute. Arsene is not playing you sometimes, Welbeck is in front of you and Lacazette has arrived and is in front of you."