Reports in January claimed Manchester City were on the verge of agreeing a double-deal to bring FC Porto duo Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala to the Etihad Stadium.
Despite talk of chartered planes and multi-million-pound offers, the two players remained where they were and City made do with the significant playing personnel already at their disposal.
And while there were hints of a return for one or both players in the summer, the latest story from Portugal suggests City may have missed their chance when it comes to Mangala.
The French centre-back would be an outstanding addition to Manuel Pellegrini’s back-line, strengthening one of the few areas of weakness in his squad. But A Bola reports that Mangala is on a three-man short-list to potential replace the soon-to-depart Carles Puyol.
The Porto man is reportedly joined on the list by Chelsea’s David Luiz and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, and while both have been regularly tipped to move to the Nou Camp, Mangala’s development means he cannot be discounted.
If Pellegrini manages to pair him with Vincent Kompany, he could ultimately have the best centre-back pairing in the Premier League. But then if Mangala joins Gerard Pique at Barca, the same could be said for the Spanish side in terms of La Liga.