Frank Lampard has revealed he was "desperate" to sign Jude Bellingham when in charge at Chelsea - but the Blues refused.
The club's board did not want to pay £20million in 2019 for the Englishman who is now rated at £115m.
Bellingham has become a record-breaking sensation since his move to Real Madrid in the summer.
The 20-year-old in 14 appearances has scored 13 goals for Los Blancos.
His jaw-dropping performances have led many to believe he is currently one of the best players in the world.
Now Chelsea can only watch and sigh as Bellingham could have been turning out for the West London outfit - had Lampard got his way.
The ex-Blues star spoke on John Obi Mikel's podcast and revealed he told Chelsea's chief they should sign the youngster.
But his hefty £20m price tag for a 16-year-old was immediately turned down by the board members at Stamford Bridge.
He told the Obi One Podcast as cited by Sports Central: "When I was managing at Chelsea (first time) I was desperate to bring Jude Bellingham in. "But I couldn't get it through upstairs - the idea of paying £20m for someone his age (at the time).
At the time Bellingham was yet to debut for Birmingham but went on to make 44 appearances that term.
The Chelsea reject then sparked a bidding war between Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.
It even led to Sir Alex Ferguson showing him around the club's Carrington training ground.
But in the end, it was the Bundesliga giants who became victorious in securing the superstar's signature.
Bellingham has since gone on to win the Kopa Trophy last week - the award goes to the best player aged under 21.
Meanwhile, Lampard took over the Blues in July 2019 but would go on and get sacked in the 2020-21 season.
He returned as an interim manager earlier this year but had a miserable stint with just one win in 11 games..