Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was unsuccessful in an attempt to buy National League side Notts County for £20m this summer.
The former Manchester United centre back was attracted to the rich history of Notts County, who finished third in England top flight in the 1890/91 season and won the FA Cup in 1894.
According to the Athletic, had the takeover been successful, Pique would have turned Meadow Lane into a school to nurture England’s homegrown talent and ease youngsters into the professional game.
The report claims previous Notts County owner Alan Hardy met with representatives from Kosmos Global Holding Group, a sports, media and entertainment company co-owned by Pique.
However, financial struggles at Notts County halted the deal, whilst an impending High Court date due to an unpaid tax bill forced Hardy’s hand, subsequently selling the club to Danish brothers Kristoffer and Alexander Reedtz, who own betting analysis company Football Radar.
Kosmos is also owned by Japanese e-commerce tycoon Hiroshi Mikitani, who owns the firm Rakuten, also the kit sponsor for Barcelona, and investors include Lionel Messi and technology billionaire Larry Ellison.
Pique is keen to set up his life after football, coming from a well connected family in Catalonia, but has faced legal difficulties in the last few years.
The 32-year-old was ordered to pay £1.89m in tax arrears and fines for tax evasion to Spanish authorities in July earlier this year, following other high profile cases involving football figures like Jose Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Notts County have enjoyed a successful start to the league season under their new owners, currently sitting in eighth place in the National League.
Neal Ardley’s side most recently triumphed 2-0 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge and will host Torquay United at home on Saturday afternoon.