Steve McManaman is one of the few English footballers to have gone and played overseas and really made a success of it. Leaving Liverpool at the end of his contract in 2003, McManaman went on to have a very successful spell with Real Madrid.

Two La Liga titles and two Champions League victories added to the Liverpool lad’s trophy cabinet and, after a spell with Manchester City, McManaman remains in the spotlight with various punditry roles.

One of the few English players who can offer genuine insight on Real Madrid and La Liga, he’s been a sought after addition by many. The Spanish media also like speaking to the former Liverpool player, whether it’s asking him about Jurgen Klopp, Philippe Coutinho, or things more related to La Liga.

Ahead of El Clasico, the talking point was obviously Real Madrid and Barcelona. Spanish newspaper AS asked McManaman if it’s true he nearly signed for Barcelona, to which he replied: “In 1996 they made an offer to Liverpool and they rejected it. We talked by phone, but nothing more than that.”

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 10.19.32AS, being a Madrid leaning newspaper, will love such a story and there are plenty of similar ones around right now, including a former Barcelona president saying they could have signed Cristiano Ronaldo.

Liverpool fans will hope that if Barcelona make an offer for another flying attacking midfielder, Coutinho, that the Reds will back Klopp and turn the Catalan club away.

Obviously, they’ll hope that isn’t then followed by Coutinho signing for Real Madrid on a free!