Barcelona rejected the chance to sign Luka Modric in 2008 because they were not thinking long-term, a former scout has told SER Catalunya.
Bojan Krkic Sr, the father of former Barca player Bojan Krkic, was working at the club when the opportunity to sign Modric surfaced shortly before he agreed to leave Dinamo Zagreb for Tottenham Hotspur.
However, Barca already had an abundance of midfielders and Krkic did not get the green light to push through a deal for the Croatia international.
"We had it in our hands," he said. "Modric was a player with a winning mentality, but the club weren't thinking about the future, only the short to medium term.
"Our contact in Croatia spoke highly of Modric before he signed for Tottenham. I was working for Barca then and they sent us various DVDs [of him playing] with Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatian national team.
"I consulted with [Zvonimir] Boban, the ex-Milan and Croatia player, to get his opinion and he told me he (Modric) would be a star in the future."
But with Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta, (Yaya) Toure and (Sergio) Busquets all at the Camp Nou, Barcelona "did not contemplate" a move for Modric, who is now at rivals Real Madrid.
Krkic said Modric had visited Barcelona and "left a great impression," adding: "He was speaking fluent English and he came across as very intelligent and switched on."
Modric moved to Madrid in 2012 after a four-year spell at Tottenham and recently agreed a new contract until 2020.