Chelsea tried to sign World Cup finalist who admits he came 'very close' to joining - but believes he was right not to

France v Croatia - FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Final Ivan Perisic (Croatia) celebrates with the teammates at Luzhniki Stadium in Russia on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Chelsea
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For a long period of time, Chelsea have had some of the best young players in Europe playing for their club, as highlighted by their seven FA Youth Cup wins between 2010 and 2018.

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic could have been another player to have made their final steps towards becoming a professional footballer at Chelsea, admitting to FourFourTwo that he nearly signed for the Blues as a youngster.

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Chris Flanagan
Senior Staff Writer

Chris joined FourFourTwo in 2015 and has reported from more than 20 countries, in places as varied as Ivory Coast and the Arctic Circle. He's interviewed Pele, Zlatan and Santa Claus (it's a long story), as well as covering the World Cup, AFCON and the Clasico. He previously spent 10 years as a newspaper journalist, and completed the 92 in 2017.