By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Douglas Costa has revealed that he rejected the chance to join Chelsea last summer.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has been a huge success at Bayern Munich since joining from Shakhtar Donetsk for a fee of around £30million.
A number of top clubs closely monitored Costa before he rejected the lure of the Premier League for the Bundesliga and the opportunity to work with their manager Pep Guardiola.
“Chelsea also wanted to sign me,” Costa told German newspaper Bild. “They were seriously interested and made great efforts. But I really only wanted to work with Guardiola and join Bayern.
“I made a conscious decision to join Bayern because of the presence of Guardiola. I was convinced that I would learn more at Bayern under Guardiola.”
Costa has taken advantage of the injuries suffered by wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben to establish himself as a regular in the all-conquering Bayern team.
Playing predominantly on the left flank, Costa has played 20 matches for his new club and supplied an astonishing 14 assists, with 12 coming in just 12 Bundesliga games. He has also weighed in with five goals in all competitions.
Bayern sit eight points clear at the Bundesliga summit, after winning 13 of their 14 matches to date, and drawing the other.