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World Cup 2018

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Watch: Barcelona bid 100 million for me, says Northern Ireland star

*Entire story may not be factually correct

By Gareth Hanna

Barcelona were itching to splash their Neymar cash as the transfer window came to a close. For some reason, Philippe Coutinho was being touted as their top target. But one Northern Ireland star has revealed that he was actually the main focus of the Catalan giants' attention.

Ryan McLaughlin, currently playing for Oldham, originally tweeted on July 1 to reveal he was joining Barcelona and he has now lifted the lid on how the deal fell flat.

"I posted about signing for Barcelona but people actually thought it was a prank when I was being deadly serious," he told the Northern Ireland team twitter account.

"It didn't go down because Oldham rejected 100 million and Barcelona were then waiting to go higher but they couldn't because they didn't know if the Neymar deal was going to get over the line. It delayed things and Oldham didn't have enough time to get a suitable replacement. Hopefully next summer."

Watch McLaughlin's fascinating interview here:

A reporter at the Belfast Telegraph revealed he had always suspected McLaughlin had the ability to reach the top.

"Ryan is without doubt one of the best players I've ever seen," he said. "If truth be told, Oldham probably recognised that in the current transfer market, £100 million is nowhere near enough for a player of Ryan's ability. He's still not as good as his brother though."

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