Michael Hector arrived at Chelsea in a shock swoop on deadline day, as the 23-year old defender joined the Blues from Reading.
However, reports in the Daily Mail claim that Crystal Palace had already agreed a deal for the player.
Eagles chairman Steve Parish described the transfer as ‘done deal’, but it is Stamford Bridge where the Jamaican international will play.
In a deal thought to be worth around £4m, Jose Mourinho swooped to sign the defender from the Championship side on the final day of the transfer window.
The hijacked deal came as the Portuguese added another defender to his ranks with the signing of Papy Djilobodji from Ligue 1 side Nantes.
Parish has described the missed opportunity as ‘disappointing’ but also said ‘we don’t hold grudges’.
Hector is believed to be a Chelsea fan which may have proved too much to resist when the Premier League champions came calling.
He will now complete the remainder of the campaign at the Madjeski Stadium, after the West London side opted to loan him back to the Royals.
“We must be doing the right thing,” joked the Palace chief, who earlier this summer smashed the South London side’s transfer record with the stunning capture of French midfielder Yohan Cabaye from PSG.