Adrien Silva has revealed that he spurned the chance to move to Stamford Bridge as a 16-year-old.
Under Leonardo Jardim Sporting Lisbon have returned to past glories this season, challenging for the Primeira Liga title after a period of malaise.
Although the likes of William Carvalho and Fredy Montero have received a lot of the plaudits, midfielder Adrien Silva has been an unsung hero in the side’s rise.
However, the 25-year-old has revealed that he had the opportunity as a youngster to sign for Chelsea – turning down the chance as a 16-year-old to move to Stamford Bridge.
“It was very early in my career, at the age of 16,” he told Record.
“I wanted to stay and also talked to my family, who advised me accordingly. We felt it was better to stay here at Sporting, which has the best training in the world. Fortunately it was a decision right.”
The former Portugal under-21 star has played 25 league games for Sporting this season and is an outside bet for the senior squad’s World Cup squad.
Chelsea have had a number of notable Portuguese players in their ranks over the years, predominantly brought to west London by compatriot Jose Mourinho.