Zlatan Ibrahimovic was prepared to controversially cross the Clasico divide and leave Barcelona for Real Madrid because of his allegiance to Jose Mourinho, it has been claimed by the player's agent, Mino Raiola.
Ibrahimovic was signed by Barcelona from Inter, where Mourinho was manager at the time, in a then club record deal but spent just one season at the Camp Nou before returning to the San Siro with AC Milan.
The striker arrived in Barcelona to much fanfare but quickly fell out with Pep Guardiola having questioned the methods of the coach. His Barcelona career had ended before it ever really began.
Having left Inter, Ibrahimovic missed out on the club’s historic treble success - which included the Champions League - and resulted in Mourinho leaving Italy to take up the coveted position of Real Madrid manager.
The pair enjoyed an excellent relationship during their time spent together with Inter and, after Mourinho moved to the Santiago Bernabeu, Ibrahimovic was desperate to join him in Madrid.
Alas, it did not transpire, and the Swede did not join that list of few to have moved between the bitter rivals.
"If Mourinho had wanted him, he would have played for Real Madrid,” Raiola told Marca.
“Ibra wanted to go there when he left Barcelona. It would have been a great deal, the perfect revenge against Guardiola."
End in tears
What a move it would have been and Ibrahimovic would have been the very epitome of a Galactico acquisition by Real Madrid.
But would the club really have been able to house two egos the size of Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo? The former struggled at Barcelona due to the privilege granted to Lionel Messi, rarely having been used to playing second fiddle.
As much as a Ibrahimovic-Ronaldo combination would have been irresistible, it is only likely to have ended in tears for one, and fractured the dressing room more quickly than eventually happened under Mourinho.
Should Jose Mourinho have tried to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Real Madrid?