Antonio Conte has admitted Chelsea tried to sign Kyle Walker from Tottenham before Manchester City agreed a deal for the defender.
Walker fell out with Mauricio Pochettino last season following a disagreement over his fitness and ability to play more than one game a week.
As a result, the right-back was allowed to join Manchester City earlier this month for a fee that could rise to £50 million.
Chelsea boss Conte has now revealed he tried to swoop for Walker before he signed for Manchester City.
He said: “We tried to buy Walker. Honestly, I think now every single player is expensive. For you to even enquire about one player, he is expensive.
“You go to buy a right-back, a left-back or a central defender and he is expensive. It is very difficult in the transfer market for the teams that need to improve their squads.”
Conte also confessed his admiration for Harry Kane, claiming: “If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane.”
He added: “He’s a complete player. He’s one of the top strikers in the world.”