Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has revealed that they had a deal in place for Reading defender Michael Hector, but Chelsea pipped them to his signature.
The 23-year-old signed for the Blues on the final day of the transfer window, but was immediately loaned back to the Royals for the rest of the season.
Parish has admitted that it was a disappointment to miss out on the Jamaican international.
"We had a deal for Michael Hector at Reading and that was a done deal. We thought we had that one," Parish told Holmesdale Radio.
"Unfortunately the might of Chelsea came in and the player chose to go there. But at least we're getting the right targets, aren't we? Our scouting set-up must be doing the right thing.
"You don't win them all. We live to fight another day. I'm sure he'll do very well at Chelsea. We don't hold any grudges. I think he supported them as a kid."
Hector has won six caps for Jamaica.