Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reveals how transfer from Chelsea to Barcelona fell through
Last Updated: 02/01/19 8:49pm
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has revealed he was denied a move from Chelsea to Barcelona when Louis van Gaal was sacked by the Spanish club in 2003.
The former Atletico Madrid striker was on the brink of a return to La Liga midway through the 2003/04 season, with Chelsea in financial trouble and keen to raise funds by selling their star forward.
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Hasselbaink, who scored 81 goals in 169 appearances for Chelsea, has now for the first time revealed to the Sky Sports News Transfer Talk Podcast just how close the deal was to going through.
"There was a fee agreed. Louis van Gaal was at Barcelona, he wanted me there. He wanted competition for Patrick Kluivert." Hasselbaink said.
"I think the transfer between the clubs was agreed on the Friday. We played Man United (at the weekend). (Claudio) Ranieri asked me 'do you want to play?' Because he already knew. I wanted to play the last game and then move on."
"I got kicked on my ankle by Phil Neville and I had to come off. My ankle was really swollen but it wouldn't have stopped the deal. What happened, Valencia won against Barcelona - I think 3-1 or something - and the next morning Van Gaal was sacked, and the deal was off."
With Van Gaal replaced by Radomir Antic, Barcelona's interest in Hasselbaink ended and the striker remained at Chelsea for another 18 months.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on a move to one of Europe's biggest clubs, Hasselbaink looks back on it as a blessing in disguise.
"I was at a magnificent club. I was loved. I really had a good time. The club wanted to sell me because they needed to raise money," Hasselbaink said.
"Obviously Barcelona is a magnificent club but the transition when it didn't go through was fairly easy. It was just not meant to be."
"You can look at it in different ways. I always try to take the positive out of it."
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was speaking exclusively to the Sky Sports News Transfer Talk podcast. The full episode will be available from 6am on Sunday, and you can watch it On Demand on Sky Sports, on YouTube, or listen to it on your preferred podcast provider.