The Roma midfielder was the subject of a number of bids from Chelsea over the close season.
Antonio Conte’s side tried three proposals with the biggest thought to be worth £33m.
However, the Belgian decided to stay with Roma and penned a new four-year contract.
He’s insisted he had the chance to move but had no hesitation in rejecting the Blues’ offer.
He told Sky Italia: “Was I close to moving to the Premier League? There was contact.
“But then I quickly decided to remain.
“He [Conte] already wanted me when he was the Juve manager, but I’d already said I would never leave Roma for Juve. Now he tries to get me to Chelsea.
“I know Chelsea are a big club, but I have to take several things into account. It’s not easy to leave Italy behind after 12 years. I won’t leave for a small difference.
“Conte told me what he expects from me and what type of player I can be for him. I’ll never be a player who’ll score 20 goals or give 20 assists.
“I’m not the one who’ll be in the picture all the time, but I can be important for a team. A manager who appreciates that is important for me.”