Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite turned down a move to West Ham United despite the Premier League outfit agreeing a £13 million deal, as reported by Sport.
With all due respect to the Hammers, they simply can’t match the five-time European champions when it comes to stature, allure and prestige.
This current Blaugrana side may have fallen some way from the dizzying heights of the Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique eras, finishing third in La Liga last season while losing Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain.
However, they are still Barcelona, one of the biggest and best-supported teams in world football, a club with more silverware than the cutlery section at Debenhams.
And Braithwaite, a striker who’s spent his career fighting relegation in France and warming the bench at Middlesbrough, is fully aware he’ll never represent a footballing institution as colossal as this one.
No wonder the much-travelled 30-year-old is determined to make the most of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Will Martin Braithwaite regret turning down West Ham?
It’s a chance he’s seizing with both hands, too.
It’s fair to say Braithwaite isn’t the second coming of Leo Messi but, with two goals and an assist in Sunday’s La Liga opener against Real Sociedad, he has shown he can be relied on at a side still mourning the departure of football’s most potent attacking force.
Braithwaite turned down the move, however, batting away interest from the Hammers and Brighton and Hove Albion as he looks to prove he belongs in such exalted company at Camp Nou.
Crisis-hit Barcelona were desperate to cash in on Braithwaite earlier this summer. Ronald Koeman left him out of a pre-season clash with Stuttgart in an attempt to force the former Levante man out the door.
But his man of the match performance in the 4-2 triumph over Real Sociedad could hardly have come at a better time, salvaging a Barcelona career that looked dead in the water as recently as a month ago.