Tony Pulis has confirmed Stoke City were one of several clubs who wanted to sign Romelu Lukaku on loan before the striker joined West Bromwich Albion.
Lukaku has scored 13 Premier League goals for West Brom this season after being allowed out on loan by Chelsea to gain first-team experience in England.
He was also a target for Stoke, but Potters boss Pulis feels his West Brom counterpart Steve Clarke's Chelsea connections made the difference.
"I spoke to Chelsea first-team coach Steve Holland," said Pulis. "He was very complimentary about Romelu and we wanted him.
"Unfortunately, there were plenty of other people who knew about him, too. I think West Ham and Fulham were in there.
"But Steve got him on loan because of his connection with Chelsea.
"Romelu's a good signing and has got better as the season's gone on."
Belgium international Lukaku is expected to start for West Brom against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.