Dani Alves has revealed that he thought a deal to move to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea back in 2007 was "done." He also explained why he didn't reunite with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
The Brazilian's career seemingly could have been very different had his move to Stamford Bridge from Sevilla gone through more than a decade ago.
But the late collapse of the transfer was no fault of his own, according to Alves, per Nick Wright of Sky Sports:
"I was this close. I didn't go to Chelsea because of the club, not because of me. I thought it was done, that I was going there to work with [Mourinho]. I don't know if he got different information, that I didn't want to go or whatever, because since then our relationship hasn't been so good, but it wasn't my fault. I was convinced that I was going to work with him and form part of his team."
As it was, Alves remained at Sevilla for another season before moving to Barcelona to play under Guardiola.
He subsequently won 23 pieces of silverware at the Blaugrana. His description of working under Guardiola as "better than sex"—a revelation he makes in upcoming documentary Take the Ball, Pass the Ball—is an indication of how much he enjoyed his time at the Camp Nou.
He eventually moved to Juventus for a season in 2016-17, which brought him another two major trophies, and he then had the chance to rejoin Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.
However, the Brazil international opted to move to Paris Saint-Germain instead.
The 35-year-old explained that he wanted to work with Guardiola again, and the move to City was effectively sealed, but family matters meant he ended up at the Parc des Princes, per Wright:
"It was all done to go to Manchester City, but it didn't happen because of a family decision. Pep knew my intentions. I spoke with him, he knew my intention to work with him and his staff again. He knows the gigantic respect I have for them, which is why I wanted to work with him again until something else came up."
Alves added "it was a shame not to work with Guardiola again," and it is likely they will now never reunite as player and manager.
Alves has enjoyed more success at PSG, winning a domestic treble last term.
But he has only just returned to training after suffering a knee injury back in May that ruled him out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
His successful career looks to be winding to a close, and if he is to move on from PSG, it is more likely to be to the United States or China than the Premier League.
Guardiola played a key role in making Alves one of the world's best players, but it may have been different had he ended up working under Mourinho at Chelsea.