David De Gea reveals he was ‘very, very close’ to joining Wigan from Atletico Madrid before Sir Alex Ferguson signed him for Manchester United in 2011

    David De Gea has revealed that he almost signed for another north-west club before signing on at Manchester United in 2011.

    De Gea impressed after breaking through the ranks at Atletico Madrid, making his debut at just 18 years old.

    David de Gea broke through the ranks at Atletico Madrid and impressed Manchester United scouts

    David de Gea broke through the ranks at Atletico Madrid and impressed Manchester United scouts

    Sir Alex Ferguson signed De Gea after the retirement of Edwin van der Sar

    Sir Alex Ferguson signed De Gea after the retirement of Edwin van der Sar

    Sir Alex Ferguson viewed the Spaniard as the natural successor to Edwin van der Sar, who retired the season prior to De Gea’s arrival and splashed £18.9million on the youngster.

    But things could have turned out differently for the long-standing United shot-stopper, 18 months before the Red Devils’ swoop.

    De Gea, now 31, revealed he came close to joining Wigan Athletic during an episode of BT Sports’ ‘What I Wore’.

    Wigan were an established Premier League side at the time they showed an interest in De Gea, with the goalkeeper admitting he came close to making the switch.

    “I was in Atletico and it was the same season I made my debut and I was like the third keeper and not even count for the team much, just training. Nothing else,” De Gea explained.

    “So Wigan got in contact with me just to sign for them and I was very, very close to sign for Wigan.”

    Wigan finished 16th that season and avoided the drop with Chris Kirkland and Mike Pollitt between the sticks for the Latics.

    Current Belgium boss Roberto Martinez was manager of Wigan at the time and almost pulled off what would have been a real coup by luring his compatriot to the DW Stadium.

    Roberto Martinez backed to become Barcelona boss by Everton star

    Roberto Martinez was close to luring a young De Gea to Wigan before Manchester United’s interest

    De Gea helped Manchester United win the Europa League in 2017

    Getty

    De Gea helped Manchester United win the Europa League in 2017

    De Gea has gone on to become a household name at Manchester United, helping the club to their last Premier League title in 2013, FA Cup in 2016 and Europa League in 2017.

    He has clocked up 494 appearances for United whilst earning 45 caps for Spain, representing his country at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.

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