Marcos Alonso said that he “did not think twice” about joining Chelsea during the summer transfer, even though a number of other European clubs were also interested in luring him away from Fiorentina. The former Real Madrid academy defender told IBTimes UK that even Barcelona approached him during last season but he only thought about leaving Serie A when the Blues came calling.
The 26-yar-old left-back had a first taste of English football at Bolton after joining the Trotters from Real Madrid as a promising teenager. The Spaniard enjoyed another short spell in the Premier League with Sunderland in 2014 while on loan from Fiorentina before he attracted the attention of Antonio Conte in the summer.
The Italian manager knew Alonso well from his time in Italy and agreed to pay around £23m ($28m) to make the powerful full-back a key member of his 3-4-3 formation. Alonso had other offers but he believes that his decision to join Chelsea is clearly paying off as the Blues are on course to win the Premier League title and face Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
“There were some great teams interested in me in the summer but I decided to join Chelsea because they are a team that I had always liked,” Alonso told IBTimes UK following the Blues 2-1 over West Ham.
“I saw a possibility of succeeding here. I had some other offers from other teams from Italy and Spain but when Chelsea came to get me, I did not think twice. Chelsea are a club that had always attracted me.
From my early years at Bolton I knew that Chelsea were a great club and the truth is that I was right to come here. Things are going well but I have to continue this way because I think I still can give much more. Now with the tranquility of not having to prove anything I have to keep improving.”
Reports in Spain last year suggested that one of the clubs keeping an eye on his contract situation at Fiorentina was Barcelona. Alonso’s father played for the Catalan side in the 80’sand they were said to be interested in signing the Spaniard to fight with Jordi Alba for the left-back role at the Nou Camp. Barcelona signed Lucas Digne instead.
“Well, I think there was some conversations [with Barcelona] but the truth is that at that point it was not in my plans to leave Fiorentina,” he said. “It was only when the interest from Chelsea arrived in the summer when I started to consider to make a change.”