Victor Lindelof's agent Hasan Cetinkaya has claimed that Manchester United rejected a number of approaches from Barcelona for his client's signature, with United taking the stance that the Swede is one of their 'best' players.
Along with a number of other of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's players, Lindelof's future was up in the air over the summer after impressing towards the tail end of the 2018/19 campaign, but ultimately stayed put - being rewarded with a new deal for his efforts, despite the fact he had three years to run on his existing terms.
And Cetinkaya insists United had no choice but to furnish the former Benfica man with a pay rise, after they rejected numerous bids from Barcelona - who wanted him as an alternative to Matthijs de Ligt - in a concerted effort to keep him over the summer.
"Lindelof was perhaps Man Utd's best player last season, and there was a lot of interest from clubs that are even better [than United] at the moment," Cetinkaya said, as quoted by the Sun.
"When Matthijs De Ligt chose Juventus, Victor was pronounced Barcelona's first choice. His way of playing, his DNA, is very close to Barcelona's way of playing.
"He is one of the world's best centre-backs with the ball at his feet, and Barcelona wanted him. That's how it was. I can talk about that now. They contacted Ed Woodward on numerous occasions with concrete offers. I had a meeting with their transfer manager, Matt Judge, to try to make a transition.
"But they just said: 'There is no chance. Victor is one of our best players'. It ended up being a new agreement instead, even though Victor actually had three years left.
"Usually, they do not make extensions with players who have so long left on the contract, but when there was an interest at this level they had no other option."
Since opting to stay, Lindelof has carved out an impressive central defensive partnership with Harry Maguire that has conceded just six goals in the Premier League this season. Only Liverpool and Leicester can boast better defensive records, albeit having played a game more with United still to take on Arsenal on Monday.