Celtic goalkeeper Logan Bailly has indicated he was Standard Liège's first choice before the Belgian club swooped for Manchester United outcast Victor Valdes.
Valdes left United during the January transfer window to complete a shock loan switch to Belgium's Jupiler Pro League. The Spain international had been exiled at Old Trafford by Louis van Gaal following a falling out with his manager and was not named in the club's Premier League squad.
Despite becoming the most high-profile player to join a Belgian side, it would appear Standard made enquiries into other goalkeepers before approaching the former Barcelona shot stopper.
Bailly signed for Celtic last summer but has since played the role of Craig Gordon's understudy, making just three appearances for the club since his arrival from OH Leuven.
According to the 30-year-old, Standard made contact with his agent during the January window over a return to the club where he emerged from as a youth player, only for the Hoops to insist on him staying.
"Standard Liège were interested in taking me back last month," Bailly told Sport/Foot Magazine. "This is the closest I have ever come to rejoining them. They contacted my agent, and I think they were really ready to sign me. But Celtic wanted to keep me, and is a nice show of their faith in me. It is nice proof that they believe in me here at Celtic.
Valdes' arrival in Belgian football was met with surprise by many, including his new teammate Mathieu Dossevi, who questioned whether the club really needed the Spain international among their ranks.
"Of course, Valdes is a great player. But I seriously wonder if we actually need him – and I don't think so," Dossevi said to The Mirror. "We have a great goalkeeper in Guillaume Hubert. He is a fantastic keeper. Guillaume has been showing brilliant things in goal for our club and the players are all right behind him."