Since Abramovich took over Chelsea in June 2003, the Blues have been a major force in the global transfer market, often investing over a hundred million pounds at a time to ensure some of the most high-profile players in the world turned out at Stamford Bridge. The jaw-dropping quantities of money being thrown around, particularly in the early years of the Russian's reign, ensured that whenever a superstar came on the market, Chelsea were linked to him almost immediately. For all the players who did sign, quite a few truly astonishing names came surprisingly close to pulling on the shirt. A couple of these, you'll be able to guess. A couple will blow your mind. Don't miss the astonishing story of the final player selected, which involves sponsorship subterfuge and a potential transfer fee of a quarter of a billion pounds. Since Chelsea's targets before 2003 were more low key, all the names on this list were linked to the club after the Abramovich takeover. Needless to say, but had all these players signed on the dotted line, Chelsea's expenditure would not only be even further through the roof than it already has been, but possibly out of the solar system by now. Lining up in a 4-3-3, the team includes three Italians, two Brazilians, one Argentine, one Portuguese, one Belgian and a respectable three Englishmen. It's a jaw dropping collection of players, many of whom would fit right into a list of the greatest players of the modern game. A shame they never made it to the Bridge, but read on to discover who they are and how close they came.
28-year old English writer with a borderline obsessive passion for films, videogames, Chelsea FC, incomprehensible words and indefensible puns. Follow me on Twitter if you like infrequent outbursts of absolute drivel.