Toni Kroos has been one of the stars of the World Cup and is at the centre of a transfer tussle between some of Europe's biggest teams - but Barcelona have turned down the chance to sign him for absolutely nothing.
Kroos has one year left on his current contract with Bayern Munich, and is expected to sign for a new club after featuring for Germany in the World Cup final on Sunday.
Plenty of clubs have been linked with the 24-year-old, including Manchester United and Chelsea. However it seems as though he'll join Real Madrid in a deal worth around €25 million, which should go through after this weekend's final.
It could have all been so very different however if Barcelona had taken up the option to sign him for free when his contract expires next year. According to El Periodico Catalunya, Kroos' agent tried desperately to get Barcelona to sign his client, and offered them the chance to snap him up for the same €25 million that Real Madrid are expected to pay.
When Barcelona said no, his agent then went one step further and said Kroos would sign a pre-contract that would see him sign on at the Nou Camp when his contract expires next year. However the twist in the tale came when Barcelona deciding against stealing one of Bayern's best players for nothing, in order to protect their relationship with the German giants.
Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is in charge at the Allianz Arena, so may have spoken to his former employers about the potential deal.
No deal for Chelsea or Manchester United
Barcelona's honourable gesture means that Real Madrid have been able to steal the midfield star from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
Reports in Spain have suggested that Kroos himself turned down a move to either club in order to secure a switch to Spain instead. The midfielder was a target for former Manchester United boss David Moyes, only for his replacement Louis van Gaal to pull the plug on the deal.
Chelsea meanwhile appear to have turned their attention elsewhere in the transfer market, and have already wrapped up a deal for Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms