Ousmane Dembele has told Onze Mondial that he had turned down approaches from both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain before joining Barcelona last summer.
Dembele defended the behaviour that forced his move from Borussia Dortmund after he went on strike, refusing to train unless the club allowed him to move.
And he revealed that he had held talks in Paris before deciding against a return to his native France.
“I met [PSG president] Nasser [Al-Khelaifi],” he said. “We had set up a meeting. It went really well. He’s a great president.
“What struck me about him is that he is very humble, he’s calm — I had never seen that. Honestly, he’s a good guy.”
However, Dembele shook his head when asked whether he had been tempted to move to the Parc des Princes.
The France international attacker said it would have been “impossible” to say no to Barcelona, but his stand-off led to BVB putting up their price and he could end up costing €145 million.
Dembele said he had rejected Barca once in order to join Dortmund when he left Rennes in the summer of 2016, but promised them he would not do so a second time.
“I had had a meeting with Barcelona. I had told them: ‘For next season it’s not possible, but the next time you contact me, I’ll come,’ and that is what happened,” he said.
Discussing Dortmund’s initial refusal to allow him to leave, Dembele asked how his critics would have reacted in his position.
“I had the impression I was missing out on my dream,” he said. “I had the reaction that I had, I totally accept that.
“What did you want me to do? That I say ‘no’ to Barcelona a second time? That was impossible for me.
“I’m at a crazy club here, alongside the best. Every year, the club’s in the Champions League semifinals or the final.
“I would like to see how the people who criticised me would have reacted if they had been in my position.”