Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Benfica's Anderson Talisca would have joined a "great and important" Premier League side in the summer if it wasn't for work permit issues.
Talisca, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder, joined the Portuguese champions for €4m (£3.2m) from Bahia, marking his arrival with a wonderful hat-trick against Vitoria de Setubal on Friday 12 September.
Mourinho is a keen admirer of the Brazil Under-20 international but has revealed he is not the only manager to have been impressed by the youngster, suggesting rival Premier League clubs were thwarted in their attempts to sign the player this summer.
Speaking to Portuguese broadcaster TVI24, Mourinho said: "I think Benfica hired well. They say Talisca is unknown, but he is only so unknown because he's only not playing in England because he doesn't have a work permit. If he had one, he would be here," Record report.
"There were many English teams, great teams and important, that wanted him. Moreover, there were those who wanted to sign him, even though he could not play for now.
"They wanted to sign him, put him in a minor league on loan and hope that eventually he came to be selected [for Brazil] and would consequently then get the work permit."
Talisca netted two goals within five minutes towards the end of the first half in Friday's win over Vitoria. He then added his third inside the first ten minutes of the second to help his side seal a 5-0 win to move into third in the table on goal difference.
Chelsea have enjoyed a healthy relationship with Benfica over the years, signing David Luiz from the club in January 2012 for £24m, with Nemanja Matic moving in the other direction. Two years later, the Blues returned to Lisbon to re-sign Serbian midfielder Matic for a fee of £21m.