Paris Saint-Germain right-back Dani Alves claims moves to Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid all fell through before he joined Barcelona from Sevilla.
Alves spent the best part of six years at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and established himself as one of Europe’s most exciting youngsters, attracting interest from all over the continent as he helped the club to win back-to-back UEFA Cup titles.
He moved on to Barcelona for €35million in 2008, but could have ended up at any of a number of top clubs, if his latest claims are to be believed.
Liverpool were strongly linked with the Brazilian in 2006 and, although reports at the time suggested the club were not willing to meet Sevilla’s £8m asking price, Alves believes an agreement was more or less finalised before the transfer collapsed, a situation he also experienced with Chelsea and Madrid.
“I pretty much had an agreement with Liverpool,” the Paris Saint-Germain right-back told FourFourTwo.
“But for whatever reason it didn’t happen at the last moment and I really don’t know why, as I wasn’t the one conducting the negotiations. I had other people representing me back then.
“Something similar happened later in my career with Chelsea and Real Madrid. Of course, it all worked out happily for the cules [Barcelona fans] in the end, and also for me, as I was able to write an amazing story at the Camp Nou instead.
“I wanted to win things that I unfortunately couldn’t win if I stayed at Sevilla. We came close, but I don’t like to be just close.
“Six months before the transfer window opened I’d been told of Barca’s interest, and I said I’d like to play for them because of the fine history of Brazilians there, the greatness of the club and the style of football.
“So it was a successful union and I will always be grateful to Pep Guardiola, Txiki Begiristain and Joan Laporta, as they gave me the opportunity to become a big star,” he added, referring to the coach, director of football and president respectively at the time that he joined.
Liverpool and Chelsea certainly missed out on Alves in his prime, but he would still be happy to play in England before he retires.
He added: “I still have this ambition, yes [to play in England]. But I don’t know if it will happen now. I think there are plenty of things to do here first with PSG.”