Treble-winning Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic feels vindicated in snubbing a move to Chelsea at the age of 16, but remains open to joining a Premier League club at some point in the future.
Now 27, the Swiss-born Croatia international caught the eye of the Blues’ scouts 11 years ago after netting 11 goals for Basel.
However, Rakitic, who helped the Catalans to the treble last season, says that the plight of Jonas Elmer made him think twice over leaving Switzerland at such a young age.
“I wanted to stay at home,” he told FourFourTwo. “I had a really special relationship with the president of Basel.
“It was much better for me to do pre-season with the first team there and then work my way gradually to the top.
“There was another guy in my situation, Jonas Elmer, who moved from Zurich to Chelsea at the age of 17.
“He ended up playing in the second division in Switzerland. Maybe that could have been me.”
When asked if moving to England was a possibility, he added: “Of course, I like it very much.
“A lot of my friends are playing in the Premier League; it’s a different style of football and I always enjoy playing in Europe against English teams.
“Maybe one day I can play there, too.
“I like how every game is always intense and how everybody lives for football. You can have a game like Crystal Palace vs Stoke where both teams are strong, powerful, fully committed and the crowd are fully behind their team.”