Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has revealed he very nearly secured a transfer to Chelsea while he was still an AC Milan player, and the Italian also had chances to sign for either Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The veteran Italy international says he almost followed Carlo Ancelotti after the Milan boss had left the San Siro to succeed Guus Hiddink in west London, with Pirlo claiming he had gone so far as reach an agreement with the Blues.
But, despite Chelsea believing they had done enough to bring Pirlo to Stamford Bridge, Milan president was able to persuade the 33-year-old to stay with the Rossoneri, just as he had done when Real Madrid came calling a few years previous.
"I had already reached an agreement with Chelsea, then after Berlusconi intervened and I stayed at Milan," Pirlo explained in his autobiography. "I was also very close with Capello at Real Madrid and nearly joined them in 2006," he explained in his autobiography.
Pirlo had enjoyed 10 successful years with Milan when he reached the next crossroads in his career, with the expiration of his contract with the Italian giants offering him a chance to explore pastures new.
The World Cup winner had the chance to join a Barcelona midfield already boasting Xavi and Andres Iniesta in 2011, before another intervention from Berlusconi prompted Pirlo to sign for Juventus instead.
He added: "Guardiola then convinced me to join Barcelona in 2011, but Berlusconi stepped in again."