Paris Saint-Germain star Ángel di María has claimed that the speculation was true and that he did almost join Barcelona this summer, despite having played previously for rivals Real Madrid.
Di María left los Blancos in 2014, after helping them to ‘La Décima’ – their tenth European Cup – but soon after fell out of favour and a unsuccessful move to Manchester United ensued, before PSG bought him a year later.
Despite several reports linking him to Barcelona, in the fallout of the Neymar move, however, a deal never materialised.
Speaking to ESPN (as quoted by Football España) di María said: “I was close and, at the same time, far away from reaching a deal with Barca. I never lost hope over the chance. I was calm about it, but it never happened.
“For sure, life takes many twists and turns and one never knows what the future might hold.”
The Argentine has found game time harder to come by due to the arrival of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, starting just six times in Ligue 1 and not once in the Champions League.
The 29-year-old revealed his Real Madrid past would not stand in the way of him crossing the divide, but did state there was one club in particular he would not join.
“I always say the same thing. The Real [Madrid] players may laugh at me, but I am a fan of [Rosario] Central, and that is why I could never play for Newell’s [Old Boys].
“So, I tell the Central fans to keep up their hope for me – I have always wanted to retire there. But, as for any other club, I have always said I will give my all for the team I am playing for.”
The PSG winger is currently in Russia ahead of Argentina’s clash with the World Cup hosts on Saturday afternoon, whilst also in contention for the friendly against Nigeria in South America.
“PSG are in good form right now. We have strengthened well and we have a team capable of going all the way in the Champions League.
“Sometimes, though, having the best [players] does not guarantee you Champions League success. I am working hard to keep making progress, to always improve.”
Di María’s last outing was the 5-0 win over Anderlecht in which came off the bench to get an assist. PSG’s next matches, after the international break, are Nantes and European Cup winners Celtic at home, before a trip to reigning French champions Monaco.