Seydou Keita has revealed that he was offered more money to join Real Madrid and Juventus before he eventually decided to move to Barcelona.
The Mali international, who is currently away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, was linked with a number of top clubs when it became clear that he was ready to leave Sevilla back in 2008.
Keita ultimately ended up at Camp Nou but, as he has now explained, it was by no means a straightforward decision.
“Barcelona had come off the back of three difficult years and a lot of people had advised me not to sign for them," he told L'Equipe.
"I had been involved in advanced negotiations with Real Madrid and Juventus, the other clubs that wanted to sign me and who had offered more money.
"But I had given my word to the Barcelona directors.”
While Keita has proven a fine servant for the Catalans, he has never managed to nail down a regular berth in Pep Guardiola's starting line-up.
The midfielder is could leave for pastures new at the end of the season, however, Keita insists that he does not know what the future holds for him.
"I can’t really tell for now," he stated in an interview with Goal.com. "I love Barca. It’s my home."
Keita has made 108 Primera Division appearances for Barca, scoring 13 goals in the process.