Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho derailed Diego Costa's proposed move to Liverpool in 2013, according to a new biography of the Spain international.
Costa, 26, became an immediate hit at Stamford Bridge last season following his reported £32.5m move from Atletico Madrid, scoring 21 goals in his first season in English football.
The Brazilian-born forward could have ended up at Anfield, however, after the Reds made Atletico Madrid an offer of £21m in August 2013, one which was believed to have triggered his release clause at the time, according to BBC Sport.
Costa opted to remain in the Spanish capital, however, signing a new deal with Atletico before playing a starring role in their 2013-14 La Liga triumph.
However, according to Fran Gillen's biography of the player entitled 'Diego Costa: The Art of War', Jose Mourinho played an important role in Costa's decision to turn down Liverpool so he could snap the player up himself a year later.
An extract serialised by the Liverpool Echo read: "Jose Mourinho, recently returned to Chelsea, had also identified Costa as a primary target, a Didier Drogba-style centre forward around whom he could forge a new winning machine.
"However, Mourinho had yet to persuade the owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, to accelerate his rebuilding plans. In both acquiring new players and moving others on, the process would be gradual.
"If Costa could not be signed [for Chelsea] now, a strategy was needed to ensure he was delayed, and not diverted. Chelsea and Mourinho made their case to Costa and Atletico: turn down Liverpool now and we will sign you – for more money – in 12 months."
Ahead of his second season in English football Costa has shaken off a hamstring injury suffered during Chelsea's preseason tour of the United States, with Mourinho confirming at a press conference on Friday he is fit for Sunday's Community Shield clash with Arsenal.