The impressive displays of Nemanja Matic of Benfica did not go unnoticed in 2013.
The likes of Paris Saint-Germain, AS Monaco and Premier League champions Manchester United have all been credited with an interest in the player - despite his hefty release clause of €50 million.
And the reason many of us found this so surprising was due to his past as a Chelsea player.
Matic played for Chelsea between 2009 and 2011 but I use the term ‘played’ very loosely as he barely made an appearance for the side.
Instead he was shipped out on loan to farm-club Vitesse Arnhem in Holland where he showed glimpses of what we all recognise now as his immense talent.
But Chelsea threw him into the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge as a makeweight in 2011 - and have lived to regret it ever since.
Mourinho was said to be keen on bringing him back to London this summer - but we imagine it was never a deal that was going to come off the ground - considering the amount they would have to pay for him.
Regardless, Matic made it clear he wanted to spend at least one more season at Benfica before considering moving on:
"Frankly, I want to stay another year in Lisbon. Of course, someone like Jose Mourinho wanting me to go back to London would be an opportunity to prove that I can play in the Premier League, but I want to achieve more at Benfica, particularly in the big games."
Late goals cost Benfica silverware last year as the dream of a treble slipped away from them in dramatic style. Porto eked out the title race, Ivanovic put paid to the Europa League dream and Vitoria Guimares shocked them in the Portuguese Cup Final. This year they have not been as impressive, and it appears he will leave in 2014.
But he won’t come cheap - which is why the rumours from Portugal today come as a surprise.
Portuguese source O Jogo now claim Liverpool are chasing the player who, as we have already mentioned, has a whopping great release clause in his contract in the ball-park figure of €50 million.
Liverpool do not have that sort of money, unless they sell Luis Suarez.
The rumour suggests he will sign in January - which would mean him sacrificing European football to make the move, another unlikely set of events.
He would be a great signing for Brendan Rodgers, as he has proved himself on the European stage.
But for that price and in the next transfer window … don’t bet on it.
Do you think Matic would be a good signing for Liverpool?
image: © Yoca91