Liverpool were agonisingly close to beating Arsenal to the signing of Aaron Ramsey in 2008, according to reports.
The central midfielder, 17 at the time, was making a name for himself at boyhood club, Cardiff, who reached that season’s FA Cup final.
Naturally, his performances attracted the attention of some of the biggest clubs on the domestic scene, with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson one of those desperate to sign him.
But what is less well known is that north west rivals Liverpool were also in the running and even invited the teenager to Melwood ahead of prospective deal.
However, it has been claimed by reliable LFC writer Paul Tomkins that former boss Rafael Benitez was told the deal could not take place at the last minute because the club already had Jay Spearing.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
He tweeted: “Rafa told me that he had Aaron Ramsey at Melwood a few months before he joined Arsenal, ahead of a move of about £1m. His account was that he was told we had Jay Spearing, so couldn’t complete the move.”
Ultimately, Ramsey spent a successful decade at the Emirates under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger, scoring 64 goals in all competitions for Arsenal and winning the FA Cup three times, including match winning goals in two of them.
He played under Unai Emery last season and, upon the expiration of his contract, the midfielder completed a free transfer to Juventus, bringing an end to his 11-year stay.
In Turin, it alleged he will earn around £20.8million per year, while Spearing failed to make the grade at Anfield, spending the majority of his career at League One level with Bolton and Blackpool, where he is currently playing.
He came through the academy at Liverpool, having captained the U18s and won the FA Youth Cup in 2007.
However, manager Brendan Rodgers’ capture of Nuri Sahin on loan and Joe Allen, coupled with the emergence of Jonjo Shelvey, he was pushed down the pecking order. In 2012 he joined Bolton Wanderers in the Championship on a season-long loan and made the move permanent in 2013.