Ivan Rakitic has revealed that Luka Modric tried to talk him into a move to Real Madrid before he took the decision to join Barcelona.
Having impressed with his creativity and consistency at Sevilla, the Croatiamidfielder was a much sought-after talent in the summer of 2014.
The scramble for his signature was ultimately won by Barca, with a big-money agreement taking him to Camp Nou.
His career path could have been markedly different, though, had he listened to an international team-mate.
Modric had already been in Madrid for two years by the time Rakitic was presented with a big future call, and the former Tottenham playmaker was hoping to be joined by a familiar face.
Rakitic, though, has seen his decision to head for Catalonia justified by two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and a Champions League triumph, and the 29-year-old admits there is no way he could cross the divide now.
He told Cadena Ser when pressed on whether Modric had asked him to join Madrid: "Before, when I was with Sevilla, he did. It would be more difficult now!
“He's a person I respect a lot. Of course, he's capable of playing for Barcabecause for me he is one of the top three players in the world in his position.
"I enjoy playing with him a lot and, with complete respect to everyone else, we see a different Madrid when he's there and when he's not.”
Rakitic, who has netted six times in 38 appearances this season, will not be leaving Camp Nou any time soon as he recently penned a new contract which commits him to Barca until 2021.