Leicester City nearly signed Johan Cruyff in 1981.

Jock Wallace wanted an experienced player that could help save his young Leicester City side from relegation.

Cruyff was 33 at the time and had already retired from the Dutch national team, though he was keen on a return for the 1982 World Cup.

Cruyff had spent one season in Los Angeles as part of the 1970s soccer boom and then went to Washington.

Terminating his contract with Washington after just five games of the 1981 NASL season, Cruyff was in good shape.

Levante was fourth in the Segunda Division of Spain and could help the team get promoted while offering him a chance to play near Barcelona.

The Sun even reported in late February that Cruyff was close to a £4,000-per-match deal with Leicester.

“Johan and I have already agreed terms," said Wallace in the paper. 'He has one or two problems to sort out, but I am very hopeful he will join us on Thursday. I would like to think that part of Johan’s interest is down to our personal friendship. I have known him since 1973 when he scored a fabulous goal for Ajax against Rangers when I was at Ibrox in the first European Super Cup. The negotiations have been going on by telephone over the past three to four weeks and now I think I have my man. He would teach my kids so much and be a great advert for Leicester City.”

But Cruyff ended up agreeing with Levante and he struggled with his form and fitness.