5 Real Madrid players who almost joined Barcelona
The rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is something that is known to all. The two sides dominate La Liga every single season and boast of having the best players in the world. The fixture is more than just a game for both the clubs and their fans.
While there are a handful of players who have represented both clubs, there are a lot of players that were lured by both, but only one managed to sign the star. Here's a look at 5 such players who were targetted by Barcelona but ended up signing for rivals, Real Madrid:
#1 - Marco Asensio
Marco Asensio was someone who was scouted heavily by Barcelona during his time at RCD Mallorca. The young Spaniard was in top form for the B team when he just 17 years old.
He was so impressive for the B-Team that Mallorca promoted him to the senior squad straight away. He continued to impress for the first team, and thus Barcelona made a move to sign him up.
A deal was agreed for the youngster to go to the Catalans for a fee of €4.5 million. Reports suggest that Asensio was also keen on joining Barcelona and had already started looking at houses in the area.
Barcelona wanted to pay the fee agreed in instalments while Mallorca wanted the full amount in a lump sum. With the deal stalled, it gave Real Madrid a chance to snap him up, and they swooped in.
The midfield sensation was loaned back to Mallorca straight away and then loaned out to Espanyol last season. After impressing in both his loan spells, Zidane gave him a chance to prove himself for the Real Madrid first team.
Asensio impressed Zidane so much when he got the chances that the manager started preferring him over big-money signings like Isco and James Rodriguez.