The president of Atalanta has revealed that Manchester United have been following Amad Diallo Traore for nearly a whole year.
Diallo will become United’s next signing when he completes his move to Old Trafford in January. The Red Devils announced they had reached an agreement for the winger earlier in October.
One of the biggest prospects in Serie A, Diallo is the first player born in 2002 to have scored in the Italian top flight. And while his gametime has been little so far, the Ivorian could be a shrewd purchase for United.
Their interest in the teenager emerged late in the transfer window. However, Atalanta president Antonio Percassi has now revealed that United have been in talks for Diallo for a long time.
“The negotiations lasted almost a year and you can feel how they work, how they manage enormous dimensions,” Percassi told L’Eco di Bergamo.
“The details and the scenarios are crazy. Meeting after meeting we learned unimaginable things.
“This leads to the growth of the club and enriches the work of everyone, from the general manager Umberto Marino to the staff.
“It was an operation we couldn’t refuse. If the boy becomes great, we will have recognition for a long time. If he’s not lucky, we’re protected.”
United made contact after Diallo played against City
Percassi then revealed that Diallo came to United’s attention when Atalanta were playing their rivals Manchester City in a UEFA Youth League game.
“A few days after the Youth League game against Manchester City, the other Manchester contacted us,” he said.
“They had followed him, the real negotiation started. We went twice to England. The text of the final agreement is a contractual masterpiece.
“The professionals involved in the operation are of a high level. In terms of negotiations, we have learned a lot. And it is above all thanks to Luca’s [Atalanta CEO Gianluca Percassi’s] work that we arrived at the final figures.”