Hull City manager Steve Bruce has revealed he came close to signing Chelsea skipper John Terry whilst in charge of Championship outfit Huddersfield back in 1999.
Bruce claimed he made a £750,000 bid for Terry, which was accepted by the Blues but rejected by the defender himself.
The Tigers boss became aware of the star centre-back whilst undertaking his coaching badges at Nottingham Forest, where Terry was playing on loan at the time.
“John came out of training with just a T-shirt on and it was freezing cold. I thought, Christ, who’s this?,” Bruce is quoted as saying by Daily Star.
“Anyway when I got the Huddersfield job, I enquired about him and I was very, very close to signing him. We were that close with the fee but John turned me down in the end.
“I remind him now and again how different it could have been and what a great decision it was to stay at Chelsea. But I have always had this respect for John.
“He’s a terrific player and for me he’s still England’s best centre-back.
“Yes, at times he lacks a yard of pace but you very rarely see him exposed. And the one thing which stands alone is that he’s a competitor.
“Money and fame, Premier League titles and European titles have never changed him. He’s still got the hunger and desire which a lot of young players should look to because he’s been there, done it, worn the T-shirt and still has fierce pride about him.
“Sometimes the word great is used too much – but he’s a great player. The big dilemma for everybody is where do you replace John Terry.”
Terry will certainly have no complaints about his decision, leading the club to four Premier League titles during his time at the west London outfit.
Chelsea claimed its first title since the 2009/10 season following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The 34-year-old became the equal highest goalscoring defender in Premier League history with 38 goals, having scored the second goal in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Leicester City last week.