Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois came close to joining Barcelona for around €3 million in 2011, according to a former Catalan scout, and father of Bojan Krkic.
Bojan senior reportedly told Spanish sources, as relayed by newspaper Sport, that the Belgian stopper wanted to move to the Nou Camp whilst he was still at Genk, and that a transfer was extremely feasible only a month prior to him joining Chelsea.
The young shot-stopper made his name in the game after a successful three-year loan spell with Atletico Madrid, and has now returned to Stamford Bridge to oust the long-serving Petr Cech from his usual abode between the sticks. However things could have been far different, as Krkic confirmed.
"Courtois was looking forward to joining the club. At that time  could have signed for three to four million euros," the ex-Barca scout said.
"Courtois was looking forward to joining the club"
"He was ready to sign with the first team, Barça B, or go on loan. A month later he went to Chelsea."
Barcelona themselves must be kicking themselves for not pushing harder for a deal to materialise, and not just because Courtois is in the ascendancy with regards to those deemed the best goalkeepers on the planet.
With Victor Valdes having left the club in the summer Luis Enrique was forced to scramble for a replacement, eventually opting for the duo of German youngster Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Chile’s Claudio Bravo.
Though neither can be classified as a poor choice there are few No.1s on the planet who can realistically attest to being of the same level as Courtois, and with FIFA selecting him as a candidate for their FIFPro World XI - made up of those voted as being the world’s best in each position - that much has been assured.
Chelsea march on
For the 22-year-old, whose contract is worth £100,000-a-week, the success achieved in the last few months in the culmination of plenty of years worth of hard-work, with the loan spell at Atletico particularly testing.
Few would have tipped him to usurp Cech and become the primary option whilst Mourinho was in charge at Stamford Bridge, and yet he has done so with consummate ease.
What’s more it looks as though he could be set to add the Premier League title winner’s medal to his trophy cabinet, as the Blues look practically unstoppable this campaign. The arrivals of Francesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, who both also played in La Liga last term, have completed what looks to be a finely tuned puzzle, and at the time of writing Chelsea are sitting comfortably at the top of England’s top flight having garnered 32 points from 12 games.