Thiago Silva has revealed that Paris Saint-Germain performed a transfer U-turn as he prepared to head for the exits at Parc des Princes, but he had already given his “word” to Chelsea.
The experienced Brazil international spent eight memorable years in the French capital.
Across that spell he took in 315 appearances, landed seven Ligue 1 titles and graced the Champions League final, however, he was allowed to run down his deal towards free agency in 2019-20.
With PSG prepared to let him walk away for nothing, Silva entered into talks with interested parties and eventually agreed to take on a new challenge in England at Stamford Bridge.
His former employers did eventually acknowledge the error of their ways, as the 36-year-old headed for the exits, but it was too late by then for any extension talks to be held.
Silva told Canal Football Club of his departure at PSG: “At the beginning, there was no offer to renew my contract.
“Leonardo called me, told me I wasn’t a part of the club’s project and said I could leave. After the Champions League final, he called me back and asked me if I’d signed with another club. I said no, but I’d given my word to Chelsea.
“For me, the word is the most important. Once you’ve said something, you have to follow through. You can’t change your mind like that. And, I think they changed their mind after the Champions League because I showed my quality.”
Silva’s leadership and defensive nous was on full display during PSG’s historic run through to the 2020 Champions League final, but he had faced questions of his value prior to reaching a continental showpiece.
He admits to feeling disappointed at how he was treated, with a man who has quickly become a key part of Frank Lampard’s plans in west London of the opinion that he was deserving of better.
Silva added: “What saddens me, it’s that I spent eight years there and I was judged on the last three games. Everything I’d done before didn’t matter.
“For me, it’s sad to make a decision like that, but it’s football. That’s how it is. Now I have to look forward and to keep working for Chelsea. It’s a club that deserves it.”
Silva has overcome an early wobble and communication issues at Stamford Bridge to help push Chelsea into Premier League title contention, with his arrival in England forming part of an elaborate summer rebuild from Lampard.