Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has acknowledged that he wanted to keep Tino Livramento at Stamford Bridge.
Despite the offer of a new long-term contract, Livramento opted to join Southampton in order to gain regular first-team football.
The 18-year-old is, so far, living up the hype at St Mary's, emerging as the club's highlight of the opening six matches through his energetic performances at right-back.
Speaking ahead of the teenager's return to West London, Tuchel has insisted that the Blues did everything possible to retain the services of the academy star.
Tuchel is quoted by football.london as saying: "We did everything to keep him here and show him his future, to compete for a position in our team. He decided to go, there are no hard feelings.
"He was, of course, competing with Reece [James] and Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] for the wing-back position. There was a big chance for him to make it all the way. It's fair enough, we wish him all the best. We saw the potential."
Chelsea allegedly insisted on a buy-back clause when allowing Livramento to move to the Saints.