Former Middlesbrough striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has told the latest print edition of FourFourTwo magazine that he had agreed a move to Barcelona before ending up on Teesside.

Back in the early 2000s, Hasselbaink was one of Chelsea’s top strikers but by 2004 he had fallen foul of the millions new owner Roman Abramovich was putting into the club. After being forced down the pecking order it was time for him to leave.

In the end, Hasselbaink, who was last seen in English football managing Northampton Town in 2018, would join Middlesbrough and had a solid two years on Riverside, scoring 22 goals in 58 appearances before moving onto sign for Charlton. At the time, Hasselbaink was very excited by the move and said they would challenge for a spot in the Champions League. But the Dutchman has now revealed he had almost signed for one of the biggest clubs in the world.  He has said that he had agreed a move to join Barcelona but that it fell through when Louis van Gaal was sacked.

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Hasselbaink said: “Everything was agreed – the fee, my contract – but Louis van Gaal got fired and it was all off.”

He would then add about his move to Middlesbrough: “They had some very good players. First I spoke to George Boateng, then I chatted with Steve McClaren and he sold the club to me. He said he was planning to sign Mark Viduka and I got really excited about that.

“I’m so happy I made that decision – I had two magnificent seasons and scored some great goals. I loved it there.”

Was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink a good signing for Middlesbrough?