Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Angel Di Maria has spoken about his failed summer move to Barcelona and insists the possibility of him moving to the Camp Nou was not affected by his spell with their arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Di Maria, 29, has revealed that he was "close" to joining the Blaugrana, who were scouring the market for replacements for Neymar after he joined PSG for a world-record fee in the summer.
Barcelona did eventually sign Ousmane Dembele but failed to capture Di Maria, who left the door open to a move to Ernesto Valverde's side in the future.
The former Benfica star's potential arrival at Barcelona may have caused ructions within the fanbase in Catalonia due to his four-year spell at Real Madrid, during which he won the Champions League and La Liga. Cules may have struggled to accept Di Maria's past, but he did not think his time with Los Blancos had any bearing on his proposed move to the Spanish league leaders, who are ahead of third-placed Real by eight points.
"I was close to joining Barcelona – close and far away at the same time," he told ESPN. "It's difficult to go to such a club. It wasn't done, but life sometimes has surprises, you never know.
"The chance of going there wasn't affected by the fact that I had already worn the white of Real Madrid. I might have been whistled at Camp Nou before, but it was nothing significant.
"Apart from Newell's Old Boys, because I am a supporter of Rosario Central, I could play anywhere. And wherever I go, I will always give my maximum."
Despite PSG's willingness to part with Di Maria, The Argentina international has featured heavily under Unai Emery this season. The former Manchester United record signing has made 14 appearances for the Parisians in all competitions, scoring twice and providing four assists.
The arrivals of Neymar and Mbappe may not have diminished Di Maria's role at PSG but the Ligue 1 leaders could face having to offload him in order to comply with Financial Fair Play requirements, which they are at risk of breaching due to their summer purchases.
PSG need to raise around £70m in order to not risk the wrath of FFP, and are reportedly prepared to offload Di Maria and Brazil winger Lucas Moura in order to raise the funds. Moura has not started in Ligue 1 so far this season, and has been afforded just 72 minutes of league action by Emery.