LaLiga: How Real Madrid failed to sign Coutinho
Real Madrid rejected the chance to sign Philippe Coutinho for just €2.5million (£2m).
Coutinho, who is believed to be edging closer to a stunning £130m move to Barcelona from Liverpool, was scouted by Real in 2008.
Former Real Madrid technical director, Miguel Angel Portugal, made the extraordinary revelation in his blog, via Marca.
Portugal reveals he flew to Brazil to watch Coutinho and even me with his parents.
However, a move for Coutinho broke down, when former Real president Ramon Calderon opted for another Brazilian.
“Coutinho had already marvelled with Vasco de Gama and was a name who had been mentioned at the club.
“All of the reports about him were favourable and looked promising to sign him and the decision was made to bring him to Real Madrid.
“I personally went to Rio de Janeiro to watch him train and play, to talk with his parents and, of course, hold a meeting about joining our club.
“Everything was going well and everything was perfect and it seemed that things were going to work out for everyone, but when I returned from Brazil I found a surprise waiting for me.
“The president Ramon Calderon told me that we had signed Alipio, a 16-year-old who they had watched with Rio Ave and who the scouts found to be a very interesting player.
“For essentially the same price that Real paid for Alipio [€2.5m], they could have signed his compatriot instead.
“It is incredible but true,” Portugal said.