Roma striker Edin Dzeko has broken his silence on why his proposed move to Chelsea broke down, claiming that it was simply because he ‘loves Rome.’
The former Manchester City player, who has scored 13 goals this season and netted twice against the Blues in the Champions League, was a top target for Antonio Conte, as Chelsea sought to bolster their attack but the two clubs failed to reach an agreement for the Bosnian.
A breakdown in negotiations allowed Conte to subsequently sign Olivier Giroud from Arsenal for £18m. However, Dzeko has revealed that he was 'flattered' by the interest shown in him by Chelsea, but has admitted he's happy to stay in Rome.
Speaking about his failed move to Chelsea for the first time, Dzeko told Bosnian outlet Klix (via L'Equipe): "It’s true that negotiations were being conducted, and that’s all I can say on the subject.
"There was a lot of speculation, as well as false and even funny claims. I was really flattered by the interest from Chelsea, a club I really respect and admire.
"In the past few weeks a lot of stories have circulated about me leaving Roma and yet I’m still here. In the end I’m happy to stay at Roma, because Rome has become my home and an indelible part of my life.
"From the first day they’ve accepted me in Rome in an unreal way and I will never forget that, I’m tied to this city by some of the happiest moments of my life."
The Bosnia international then added: "I felt the joy of fatherhood for the first time here when my little girl Una was born, and my son Dani was born here too. Roma is part of my life now, and it always will be.
"I believe we have many more beautiful moments ahead of us and that we’ll succeed in achieving our objectives together. Roma is my family and I’m happy to keep wearing the Lupi shirt."
The 31-year-old spent four-and-a-half years with Manchester City prior to his move to the Serie A in 2015 and is much adored by the Giallorossi fans.
The Blues targeted the striker as they sought a backup option for Alvaro Morata, who has recently struggled for form, finding the net 12 times this season, with Dzeko going one better with 13 goals this season.