Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has revealed he came close to moving to the Premier League as a teenager, though he’s pleased he didn’t.
The 22-year-old has emerged as a key player for Atletico Madrid, and had been linked with a move to Manchester United before signing a sensation nine-year contract last summer.
Ahead of Atletico’s Champions League clash with Chelsea this week, Antonio Conte also labelled the midfielder “a great player”.
However, it was not Manchester United or Chelsea who came close to signing him – it was Chelsea’s West London rivals Fulham.
“Fulham wanted me when I was 16,” he told The Daily Mail. “They were in the Premier League at the time with Mark Hughes and I was close to going.
“They had a plan for me to train with them for three months and then to start playing directly. I could go from the Atletico B team to the Premier League. I felt ready to make that jump. Thank God I never went.”