Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has revealed Manchester United turned down the chance to sign Atletico Madrid and Spain midfielder Saul Niguez in 2015.
The midfielder made his debut under Diego Simeone aged just 17 and has since become an integral part of the side, making 56 appearances in all competitions.
He was handed a call-up to the national side by new manager Luis Enrique and impressed during wins over England and Croatia over the international break.
Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Balague revealed Man United were offered the chance to sign Saul aged 20 three years ago.
“Saul, finally people have realised the talent that this man has,” he said.
“This is a man that as an 18-year-old was offered to Everton and they said no. As a 20-year-old he was offered to Manchester United and Manchester United said no.”
That summer saw United splash out on Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, prompting widespread enthusiasm among supporters which quickly turned into gloomy disappointment. Both players – fantastic for their former clubs – were out of the door 18 months later, their impact Old Trafford almost completely forgotten.
There is no way of saying if Saul had fared any better. But to see him now excelling for club and country in midfield, fluid on the ball and blessed with a remarkable engine, once again makes you question United’s transfer policy.