Barcelona roped in some top players during the summer transfer window in the form of Ilkay Gundogan, Joao Cancelo, and Joao Felix, among others.
At the same time, the Catalan giants also made some signings keeping the future in mind, with Noah Darvich and Mamadou Fall falling into that category.
Another player who was signed with an eye on the future but could soon find himself in the first-team dynamics under Xavi Hernandez is Mikayil Faye.
Chelsea, Genk were very close
The 19-year-old Senegalese defensive talent arrived at Barcelona from NK Kustosija and is already making an impression with Barça Atletic.
But it could have all turned out quite differently for Faye and Barça as Chelsea were within whiskers of signing the young defensive prodigy.
Indeed, as per Toni Juanmarti of SPORT, the Premier League heavy spenders, who have been signing up young talents from across the globe, were within inches of closing a deal for Faye.
The La Liga champions had been monitoring Faye for a while but had not taken any definitive steps toward his incorporation. It had led to the likes of Chelsea and Genk closing in on his capture.
Both Chelsea and Genk were offering up more money for the youngster, with the latter even promising him minutes with the first team setup.
The report claims that Chelsea had already started the work on the documentation to sign the 19-year-old centre-half from NK Kustosija, with the plan being to loan him out to a French club.
Last-minute OK from Barcelona
It is at this point that Barcelona sent their ‘OK’ to the transfer.
The Catalans had received good reports on Faye from Moussa Kone, their scout in charge of tracking talents in Africa but were not pulling the trigger due to the delicate economic situation.
However, the La Liga champions changed their minds at a crucial juncture, swooping Faye away from the hands of Chelsea and Genk.
The teenage defender already trained with the first-team setup during pre-season and even travelled to the US for the tour. A promising young talent, Faye can grow into a top prospect at Barcelona.