Cape Town - New Kaizer Chiefs signing Siyanda Xulu was previously on the verge of signing for Barcelona, according to the defender's agent.
The South Africa international penned a five-year deal with Amakhosi and was unveiled amongst a host of new arrivals at Naturena on Tuesday.
However, Xulu's representative, Paul Mitchell, has revealed his client once came close to joining Catalan giants, while Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid had also made their interest known, although those potential deals fell through and the centre-back eventually left Mamelodi Sundowns for Russian giants FC Rostov in 2012.
"Siyanda was the first player I signed in South Africa after bringing Matthew Booth back from Russia and bringing Jorge Lacuna from Holland to [Mamelodi] Sundowns. I signed 'Siya' when he was just 17 years old," said Mitchell.
"We have walked a long road together, we went to Barcelona and had a very disappointing time there because it was a done deal but it fell through at the last minute.
"People thought he [Xulu] only landed in Barcelona because of [former Sundowns coach and Barca legend Hristo] Stoitchkov but he had nothing to with it. It was all our work and at that time Xulu was in the top young 50 players in the world.
"Real Madrid came at the same time while we were at Barcelona but that was a roller coaster and it never happened. Atletico Madrid put an offer to Sundowns but it was rejected and we eventually ended up in Russia and it wasn't easy because negations were long and we did the deal on the last day of the window."