Chelsea legend Michael Essien has admitted that before signing for the Blues, he very nearly became a Liverpool player.
Essien was a mainstay at Stamford Bridge through the noughties and the early 2010s, accumulating a plethora of accolades with Chelsea - including two Premier League titles, a Champions League, three FA Cups and a League Cup.
Also partial to the occasional screamer, the Ghanaian international was pivotal to Chelsea's success under Jose Mourinho.
However, things could have panned out very differently if the midfielder had decided to up sticks to England a couple years earlier than he eventually did.
Essien has stated that he was surprisingly close to joining Liverpool while at Bastia, his first French club, engaging in lengthy talks with then Reds manager Gerard Houllier.
He would even make the trip to Melwood to discuss a deal in person - however, the move was not to be, with Essien deciding to remain in France.
Speaking on Instagram Live, Essien said: “I had a lot of offers. I was close to signing for Liverpool when Gerard Houllier was their coach. I even went to Melwood to meet the coach.
“We had a talk, and I returned to France, but the offers were still coming from PSG, Marseille and a few others. But, I told Bastia I didn’t want to move, and they also didn’t want to sell me at that time because they wanted me to stay for another year, which was fine with me.
“I thought it was too early to move to England. That was why I joined Lyon and later moved to Chelsea under Mourinho.
"Lyon was my favourite team when I went to France because they were winning everything. I told my agent that if Lyon have come into the picture, I’d like to join them.”