In a world where imagination often runs wild and the temptation of looking back in hindsight can prove strong, a particular endeavour involving Manchester City and Isco should get those hypothetical thoughts flowing.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the Spain international's transfer to the Etihad was all but sealed in the summer of 2013 and the Spanish playmaker would be in a Sky Blue jersey now if it weren't for player persuasion.
The 23-year-old's relationship with Manuel Pellegrini is a strong one, with the former Malaga duo displaying a close bond - Isco even said he'd "go to war" for his former Chilean boss.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
A guaranteed swoop for City it seemed given Pellegrini and Isco's history together, and it almost was. A fee was agreed, as was a contract with the Spaniard himself in principle.
On the cusp of a Manchester-bound flight, all seemed to be going ahead - that was until the Under-21's European Championship that summer anyway.
Isco decided to postpone his future agreements until after the tournament's conclusion, in which time he bunked up with Juventus striker, Alvaro Morata.
Tactical motives from Los Blancos president Florentino Perez then came into play and City were doomed. The Real Madrid president ultimately persuaded Morata to tempt Isco from the clutches of Manchester and to the Bernabeu instead - a very sly move.
The rest is history, and after being one of the players of the tournament, it was clear Perez was thoroughly impressed by the midfielder and swooped.
Seventy-six appearances and 13 goals for the Galacticos later and the Citizens are left wondering what might of been. Alas, all City fans can do is imagine an attacking midfield three of Isco, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.