Chelsea and Liverpool failed with bids to sign Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella during the summer transfer window.
The Italian was initially linked with a move to Newcastle United this summer. The Magpies were prepared to pay around €70m.
This was not sufficient to convince the Nerazzurri, and the Magpies ended up signing Sandro Tonali from Milan for the same fee.
It is now revealed that the Blues and Reds were also keen on pursuing Barella, but they could not secure an agreement.
The San Siro giants were adamant that the midfielder was not for sale, but their stance could change at the end of the season.
The club have financial problems to deal with. This was a prime reason behind the sale of Andre Onana to Manchester United.
They are likely to sanction another big-money sale next summer, and Barella could be available for a fee in the region of €90m.