Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto has explained why he turned down the chance to play for Chelsea and instead signed for Mainz, saying he feels the German club are at a more realistic level for him.
Chelsea were thought to be close to wrapping up a deal for the FC Tokyo forward when club president Naoki Ogane revealed they had received a formal offer from the Premier League champions.
The news followed confirmation of Chelsea's 'largest ever commercial deal' with Japanese tyre manufacturers Yokohama Rubber Company and manager Jose Mourinho did little to dampen talk of an imminent move for Muto, telling reporters when asked about the reported offer: "That's modern football. That is modern management. You cannot close completely the door to commercial interests."
Despite interest from Stamford Bridge though, Muto feels he has made the right decision in signing for Mainz, who finished the 2014-15 Bundesliga season in 11th place.
"I wanted to keep my expectations realistic and play for a team that fits my level," Muto was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"I began wanting to compete at a level above. They really showed they wanted me," he said of Mainz. "From the word go I would like to focus on scoring goals."
Muto will link up with his new club later this month when first stage of the J-League campaign finishes.
Mainz boss Martin Schmidt was delighted to secure the 22 year old's services at the expense of Chelsea, telling the Bundesliga website: "We spent a long time watching Yoshinori Muto because we're certain he'll fit in at Mainz 05 and with our style of play.
"He's a quick, agile and technically gifted forward who can play out wide, and he'll bring us added qualities in those positions."
Chelsea have already completed their first transfer of the summer window, inking a deal for 19-year-old Brazilian midfielder Nathan.
The club are likely to continue their search for another forward option this summer following the departure of Didier Drogba, although Patrick Bamford could represent another avenue following his impressive loan spell at Middlesbrough.