Crystal Palace had a deal lined up for defender Michael Hector, only for Chelsea to swoop in and hijack the transfer, according to Eagles co-chairman Steve Parish.
Blues manager Jose Mourinho had been looking for a new centre-back all transfer window, and made a last-minute purchase on deadline day after his move for Everton’s John Stones fell through.
The defending Premier League champions engineered an 11th-hour deal to sign Hector from Reading and immediately loaned him back to the Championship club, but the 23-year-old was on the cusp of joining Palace.
“We had a deal for Michael Hector at Reading – that was a done deal and we thought we had that one,”Parish told Holmesdale Radio.
“Unfortunately the might of Chelsea came in and the player chose to go there, so at least we’re getting the right targets.
“We must be doing the right thing, so that was disappointment but you don’t win them all and we live to fight another day.
“I am sure Michael will do very well at Chelsea and we wish him all the best. We don’t hold grudges, Chelsea are a big club and I think he has supported them since a kid, so you can understand why he chose them.”