ALAN DZAGOEV has revealed he rejected the chance to join Chelsea – despite Roman Abramovich promising to sign him against then-boss Avram Grant’s wishes.
The CSKA Moscow legend, 29, played in a trial game at the Blues early in his career, with Grant rejecting the chance to sign him.
But club owner Abramovich told the Russian midfielder he would bring him to the club if he just said the word.
Dzagoev recalled: “It’s true that Abramovich told us if we want to go to England, we just need to tell him.
“But at the time, the situation was a very confusing one for me. So, I decided to stay with the club.”
Dzagoev stayed in Moscow and has gone on to play over 300 times for CSKA – while adding 59 caps for Russia.
The midfielder also revealed he was never approached by Arsenal or Tottenham, despite being linked with the two Premier League sides down the years.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed Declan Rice “cried his eyes out” after Chelsea released him aged 14.
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The West Ham midfielder, 20, said: “It was a massive shock. I just broke down, because that was all I’d known since I was eight years old.
“We asked for the reason and they said, ‘You’ve got to come in for a meeting’, which we did book — and then they cancelled.
“So we didn’t actually get to find out the reasons why.
“I got released at like half three, cried my eyes out for about an hour, gutted, didn’t know what to say.”
But there was a happy ending for Rice, who had trials at Fulham and West Ham – who both wanted him – immediately after.
Rice added: “We had a phone call off Dan Rice at Fulham — no relation — and I went and trained at seven.
“After one session they wanted to sign me. That was on the Wednesday.
“Then Dave Hunt from West Ham called my dad. My dad then drove me over to Chadwell Heath and I trained with West Ham on the Thursday.
“After two sessions there, they wanted to sign me.”