Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has revealed he tried to bring Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour on loan to the Dons 18 months ago.
Gilmour was part of the Chelsea team that enjoyed Champions League success after the Blues shocked Manchester City in Portugal last month.
But the 20-year-old from Ardrossan, who is hoping to start for Scotland in their Group D opener against Czech Republic on Monday, could have been learning his trade at Pittodrie if Chelsea had sanctioned an ambitious loan move.
McInnes told the Mail on Sunday: “I don’t know the boy but I have watched him play through the youth levels against our teams at Aberdeen and I have had good reports from former teammates and ex-players of mine since he moved south from Rangers.
“Wee Jody Morris, in particular, just loves Billy.
“He used to rave about him when he was part of Frank Lampard’s coaching staff at Stamford Bridge.
“Midway through last season I called Jody up and asked him about the chances of bringing Billy up to Pittodrie on loan.
“My request was quickly shut down. Jody just didn’t think it was possible and you can understand why!
“He has been trusted to play in big games by both Frank and Thomas Tuchel and now he has a Champions League winner’s medal to his name.
“Not bad for a kid who celebrated his 20th birthday on Friday.”