Sheffield Wednesday: How Chelsea were determined to land Owls new boy Michael Hector
Big-spending Chelsea thought so much about Sheffield Wednesday new boy Michael Hector that they gazumped Premier League rivals Crystal Palace three years ago to sign the centre-half.
It was the summer of 2015 and Hector, then 23, thought he was leaving Reading and moving to Selhurst Park as the transfer deadline approached.
Just when everything seemed finalised, Jose Mourinho and co came calling at the 11thÂ hour to tempt the defender to the club he's supported since he was a boy.
Hector today joined the Owls are a season-long deal from the Blues and he is no stranger to loans. This will be the 15th temporary switch for the 26-year-old the Jamaica international who was born in East Ham, London.
Back to the Â£4 million swoop by Chelsea, who immediately loaned the player back to the Royals, Hector said at the time: 'I was with my dad, visiting my relatives in Bromley, and in my head I was going to Palace.Â
"I knew the deal was pretty much done and thought I'd be going there to sort everything out. Then dad went off and took a call, returned and said: '˜You'll never guess who that was?' It was one of the Chelsea directors, trying to get a move sorted out.
"As soon as Chelsea came in there was only one team I was going to go to. I'm a fan and it's one of the biggest clubs in the world.Â
"There was a meeting at Stamford Bridge later that night and everything was completed the next day, going through the medical and then signing my contract at Cobham (Chelsea's training complex). It was a bit crazy, a bit hectic.'
Hector has never made it into the Chelsea first team, but has plenty of experience in the Championship with Reading and also Hull City, with whom he spent the 2017/18 campaignÂ on loan.
Wednesday '“ who also signed midfielder Josh Onomah on loan from Spurs today -Â have been tracking him for several weeks and were able to follow up their interest when their transfer embargo was lifted earlier this month.