Rejected a 10-year contract from Barça, now he plays for a fifth-tier club

12 months ago

Former Barcelona target John Bostock has signed for his 15th professional club… fifth tier side Notts County. The 30-year-old midfielder was once one of the most highly regarded young talents in English football.

As a teenager, he turned down a 10-year deal with Barcelona and also rejected approaches from English football giants Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

But since the summer he has been without a club after Doncaster Rovers were relegated from League One. Now he has finally found a new contract, joining Notts County in the fifth tier.

Announcing the news on Twitter, he said: “I’m back! Delighted to have signed for the oldest league club in the world @Official_NCFC. Thank God for this next step in my and my family’s journey.”

While at Crystal Palace as a 14-year-old, Bostock caught the eye of Barcelona. They offered him a ten-year deal, with the Catalan giants even sending the Englishman a poster signed by Ronaldinho in a bid to convince him to move to Spain.

But he turned them down because his parents wanted him to continue his education in London. Speaking to the BBC in 2020, Bostock said: “When I was 14, Barcelona offered me a 10-year contract.

“Ronaldinho was my favorite player at the time, so they sent me a poster with his signature on it. I still have it at my house in London. It said: ‘For John by Ronaldinho.’

“You name the club, I’ve had interest from them. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool – from all the big clubs in European football.”

Bostock left Crystal Palace for Tottenham in 2008 in a dramatic move that saw the two clubs go to court. But he never got to play in the Premier League after being loaned out to Brentford, Hull, Sheffield Wednesday, Swindon and Toronto until his departure in 2013.

Bostock’s nomadic career extended abroad with spells at Royal Antwerp, Leuven, Lens, Bursaspor and Toulouse, who loaned him out to Nottingham Forest.