Davinson Sanchez rejected a move to Barcelona when he first came to Europe, according to the Tottenham defender’s long-time mentor.
Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio discovered the Colombia centre-half aged 17 when he joined Atletico Nacional.
Sanchez spent four seasons with the Nacional while catching the eye of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Ajax eventually won the race to sign Sanchez, who spent a year in Eredivisie before moving to Tottenham in the summer for a fee that could rise to £42million.
But before putting pen to paper at Ajax, Sanchez received an offer from Barcelona upon which he sought Osorio’s advice.
“I remember him calling me and asking if he should go to Ajax or Barcelona, who were also interested,” he told Sky Sports.
“I just thought the best thing for him was to play football, and maybe in Barcelona he would not get playing time, he would be a sub.
“That is what he decided to do and then he went to Holland. He played a very good season and Tottenham decided to go for him.
“That’s fantastic to see. When a player can have such an improving career in such a short period of time.”