Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Chelsea did try to sign Jules Kounde in the summer transfer window.
The Blues were linked with the Sevilla centre-back throughout August and stepped up their efforts to sign him towards the end of the month.
Chelsea thought a bid of £42.8m would be sufficient to prise the central defender away from the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
But as the August 31 deadline approached, Sevilla raised their asking price.
Chelsea were then told they must trigger Kounde's release clause, which stands at £68m, to sign the France international.
And Tuchel admits that the European champions were working until the last minute to strike a deal, having succeeded in agreeing terms for the loan arrival of Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid.
"It was clear we tried for Kounde and Saul and it was very, very late but it was a very, very smooth transfer window because I had full concentration on training and on my team," Tuchel said.
"The amount of support of (technical and performance advisor) Petr Cech as a link, and together with Marina [Granovskaia, Chelsea director], was fantastic, so it was pretty relaxed with a good outcome because in the end it was possible to add Saul into the group, which was a key position for us to have more alternatives and to not put all the pressure on the three guys' shoulders.
"So there's a lot of competition now going on and it's my job to be a good moderator."
Tuchel might have been privately disappointed not to land a centre-back in the summer.
Kurt Zouma was allowed to leave Stamford Bridge and Chelsea could be short in defence if injuries strike.
However, Trevoh Chalobah has been more involved in the early weeks of the campaign than most people expected.
Chelsea return to Premier League action when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge in the late kick-off on Saturday.
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