Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed that he tried to beat Manchester City to the mega-money signing of Kyle Walker this summer.
The former Tottenham right-back moved to the Etihad for around £50m and the Italian coach says the Blues did make a substantial bid for the England international.
However, according to the Standard, Conte says Chelsea could not compete with the financial capabilities of their title rivals but did not reveal how much they offered for Walker.
Speaking in Singapore, he said: "If you want Walker, you know that Walker is expensive. We tried to buy Walker.
"Honestly, I think now every single player is expensive. For you to even enquire about one player, he is expensive.
"You go to buy a right-back, a left-back or a central defender and he is expensive. It is very difficult in the transfer market for the teams that need to improve their squads."
It is well known that Conte is desperate to add new some new full-backs this summer to offer competition to both Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso.
Chelsea have failed in their pursuits of Danilo and Benjamin Mendy - with both also joining City - while their attempt to sign Juventus' Alex Sandro appears to have also ended negatively.
Nevertheless, they have added Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata this summer, with Conte hopeful of more high-profile arrivals before the window shuts.