David de Gea joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and since then, he has cemented his place in the club’s folklore after a number of stellar seasons between the goalposts.
De Gea’s stay in Manchester will stretch to a whopping 12 years at the end of this season but now, the Spaniard has revealed that it all could have been very different.
De Gea emerged as a breakthrough talent at Atletico Madrid in 2009 but he was struggling to make his way up the pecking order as a teenager – that’s where a move to the Premier League was being mooted.
Speaking to the BT Sport show What I Wore, the 31-year-old revealed that Wigan, a Premier League club at the time, made an approach to sign him and that a move was ‘very close’ to materialising.
“Well, I was in Atletico. It was in the same season I made my debut,” he said as he explained the details behind this crazy story.
“I was like the third keeper, it was like not even counting for the team, you know. Just training and nothing else so, yeah, Wigan (made) contact with me to sign for them and I was very, very close to sign for Wigan.”
It could have all been very different but United fans will be delighted that De Gea chose to stay at Atletico Madrid, where he eventually became the undisputed number one.
Sir Alex Ferguson famously only missed two games when he was in charge of United and one of them was to scout De Gea – and what a find it was.
De Gea has endured his share of ups and downs at Old Trafford but when he leaves the club, he will be remembered as one of the two, three or four great goalkeepers the Reds have seen.
At present, he is fairly secure in his place but he has just one year remaining on his contract. United do, however, have an option to extend that deal for an additional season.