Real Madrid star Toni Kroos reflected on the time he talked to Manchester United and Liverpool before moving to the Bernabéu in the summer of 2014.
Liverpool were the first Premier League team to sign a contract with Kroos, who was setting the world on fire for Bayern Munich.
However, the Reds sold their talismanic striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £ 75 million, which made them a much weaker offer.
Part of that money would be reinvested in another attack force and Kroos would be targeted.
"It was not a direct conversation, but they offered to tell me more about the club and so on," said Kroos of his conversation with Liverpool bosses.
The German was open to moving to Anfield after receiving messages from Steve Gerrard and Suarez – but there was a secret hidden in the shadows.
Kroos added, laughing: "The funny thing is that Suarez was about to leave for Barcelona anyway."
United, under the administration of Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, David Moyes, opened negotiations with the midfielder.
However, the results in the field were not enough and Moyes was eliminated with Louis van Gaal as his replacement.
"David Moyes came to see me and the contract was basically concluded," added Kroos.
“But then Moyes was fired and Louis van Gaal came in, which complicated things.
“Louis wanted time to build his own project. I haven't heard from United for a while and I started to have doubts. "
While all of this was bubbling up in the background, Kroos won the World Cup with Germany.
This led to the interest of the then Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, and the rest is history.
"Then the World Cup started and Carlo Ancelotti called," reflected Kroos. "And that was it."
Real's standards have dropped since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure for Juventus in 2018.
"Many of us didn't play our best football last season," admits Kroos.
“After three consecutive wins in the Champions League, you can expect to lose a little bit of sharpness and it took a while to adjust to the loss of 40 or 50 goals that Cristiano Ronaldo has secured each year.
"But at Real Madrid, that is unacceptable. When we were eliminated by Ajax [in the last 16], many suggested that it was the end of that team.
"We were dropped on the other side of the hill, but that just provided extra motivation to prove that we were all wrong."