The agent of new Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano claims his client could have joined Inter Milan this summer.
The Argentina captain left Liverpool before the end of the transfer window after making it clear that he no longer wanted to stay at Anfield.
Rafa Benitez, formerly manager on Merseyside and now in charge of Inter, had been linked with an attempt to stage a reunion with Mascherano at the Giuseppe Meazza.
But the 26-year-old's representative, Marco Piccioli, claims that Spanish champions Barcelona were more forceful in their attempts to buy a defensive midfielder.
Piccioli told calcionews24.com: "Inter were very interested, it is true.
"I can confirm that there were negotiations between Inter and Liverpool.
"But then Barcelona moved decisively and Mascherano went to Spain, and he is obviously happy to join such a prestigious club."