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

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David De Gea has revealed he nearly signed for another North West club before signing for Manchester United in 2011.

De Gea impressed after coming through the ranks at Atletico Madrid, making his debut aged just 18.

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

Sir Alex Ferguson signed De Gea after Edwin van der Sar retired

Sir Alex Ferguson signed De Gea after Edwin van der Sar retired

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

But things could have turned out differently for United’s longtime keeper 18 months before the Red Devils’ coup.

De Gea, now 31, revealed he was set to join Wigan Athletic during an episode of BT Sports’ ‘What I Wore’.

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

“I was at Atletico and it was the same season I made my debut and I was like the third goalkeeper and I didn’t even matter much to the team, I was just training. ‘other,” De Gea explained.

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


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

Current Belgium boss Roberto Martinez was then Wigan manager 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 interest from Manchester United

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 become a household name at Manchester United, helping the club win their last Premier League title in 2013, the FA Cup in 2016 and the Europa League in 2017.

He recorded 494 appearances for United while earning 45 caps for Spain, representing his country at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.



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