Manchester City did hold talks with John Terry over a move to the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2009, the club's former chief executive Garry Cook has confirmed.
Chelsea gave City permission to speak to their skipper, but he eventually turned down a five-year contract worth £200,000 a week.
The deal was offered to Terry nearly 12 months after billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour took control of the club and during Mark Hughes' reign, although the Welshman was sacked in December that year.
Cook told Sky Sports: "We went through the process [of signing Terry].
"[Chelsea chief executive] Peter Kenyon was there at the time and we had conversations with him, saying we'd like to do it and we'd like to have a conversation.
"I think he was probably more confident that he [Terry] wasn't going anywhere.
"We had conversations with John and he decided to stay where he was, and quite rightly so.
"But there was never a document ready to sign."
Terry later revealed that he used the offer from City as a bargaining tool when negotiating a new deal with Chelsea.
"There were players out there who were using us as a stalking horse and that's the game," Cook added. "If you want to get a better contract in your renewal with the club you're with, then you've got to try and raise a market, and that's what agents would do.
"The reality is, would we have liked a lot of them to come? Yes. But the truth is, some of them were a little bit smoke and mirrors."
The defender went on to stay at Stamford Bridge until 2017, making a total of 703 appearances for the club, a Chelsea record.