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“I thought we’d done a deal for Luka Modrić and he ended up at Real Madrid”

Former Chelsea boss André Villas-Boas reveals that Luka Modrić could’ve been a Blue, along with João Moutinho and Radamel Falcao.

Roddy Cons
HELSINKI, FINLAND - AUGUST 09: Luka Modric of Real Madrid arrives in Helsinki for the UEFA Super Cup Final 2022 at Vantaa Airport on August 09, 2022 in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo by Joosep Martinson - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Joosep Martinson - UEFAGetty

“My time at Chelsea would make for an incredible autobiography”, claims André Villas-Boas. The former Blues boss gave a lengthy interview to The Telegraph and recalled the signings that fell through during his turbulent spell in charge, one of which stands out above the rest.

Abramovich’s Modrić-Moutinho promise

“We missed out on a deal for Luka Modrić at the start of the season,” says Villas-Boas of Chelsea’s failed attempt to sign the then-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder. They did, at least, have a plan B. “If the Modrić deal wasn’t going to happen, the João Moutinho one had to be done instead. That was Roman Abramovich’s promise. But Moutinho came to the Premier League years and years after I tried to get him,” laments the Portuguese coach. “The fact that Abramovich went back on that is a failure you can’t blame the coach for.”

“I thought the deal for Modrić was done and he ended up at Real Madrid the following season,” the still disappointed Villas-Boas continues. “Then the Moutinho deal was also going to be done with Porto but the problem for Chelsea was that the move for Álvaro Pereira, Porto’s left-back, fell through.”

Villas Boas
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Modrić, Moutinho, Falcao and Tévez at Chelsea?

“Roman was upset so…no Modrić, no Moutinho. Radamel Falcao is another one who was going to come but at the time we had Didier Drogba, who couldn’t decide whether or not he wanted to leave in January. He was about to go to Shanghai, then he wasn’t and then (Chelsea’s former influential director) Marina Granovskaia wanted to sign Carlos Tévez and then suddenly she didn’t,” Villas-Boas explains.

Eight months at Chelsea for Villas-Boas

Fresh from winning the Europa League with Porto, the promising 33-year-old arrived in the Stamford Bridge dugout in 2011 but a run of poor results led to his sacking after only eight months. “We should have made more changes,” he remembers. Villas-Boas, currently without a club, has since spent time in charge of Spurs and Olmypique de Marseille, who he left in 2021.