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I have signed over 3,000 players for Chelsea but my 2011 transfer deal with Barcelona was most bizarre

DAVID BARNARD has been at Chelsea since 2002.

In that time, the Director of Football Operations has seen the Blues sign over 3,000 players, from youth stars to world class talent.

David Barnard recalled a crazy transfer story from his time with Chelsea

Signing Oriol Romeu took Barnard all over the world

The influx of players seen during the Roman Abramovich era has continued under current chief Todd Boehly.

But none of the transfers Barnard has overseen in his Chelsea days quite match a 2011 deal with Barcelona.

Before documents could be signed online, the only way to get a deal over the line was by physically signing contracts in person.

And securing the capture of midfielder Oriol Romeu from Barca took Barnard all over the world.

Speaking on the deal, Barnard told the London Is Blue Podcast: “Negotiations started while I was in Malaysia, it then continued when I was in Thailand [on pre-season tour]. Now you’ve also got to bear in mind the time difference when things are taking so long.

“Then we completed the transaction in Hong Kong.”

After wrapping up the deal, Barnard jetted back to London to collect the paperwork.

He then flew on to Madrid, but with Romeu in U20s World Cup action for Spain in Colombia, he had to fly on to South America.

Barnard continued: “I got to Bogota, and as I got to the hotel, there was two armed guards.”

He added: “They carried my bags, escorted me into the hotel.”

After getting to his room, Barnard switched on the television.

He said: “The first thing I saw on the television was a truckload of bodies on a bridge, and all the bodies were then being thrown into the water. 

“So the first thing I did was get the chair, put it up against my hotel room, and rather than have a meal, I ended up eating all of the M&Ms and everything out of the fridge.”

Barnard then had to catch another flight from Bogota to the city of Manizales, where Spain U20s where due to play, to finally get the deal done.

Despite all the effort to get him to Chelsea, Romeu went on to play just 33 games for the club.

After leaving the Blues in 2015 the midfielder did enjoy a successful seven years with Southampton.

The 31-year-old now plies his trade for LaLiga side Girona.