Pascal Chimbonda believes his huge gaffe whilst playing for Wigan cost him a dream move to Manchester United.
The 41-year-old has admitted that putting in a transfer request in the Wigan Atheltic dressing room was the “biggest regret” of his career.
The defender completed a career-defining £500,000 move to Wigan from Bastia in 2005 and managed to help the then Premier League club reach the League Cup final, earning a place in the PFA Team of the Year, and being called up by France.
Things looked to be going well for the full-back until he decided to hand in a written transfer request in the dressing room after the final game of that season.
It was a move which did not go down well at Wigan and the player believes his stunt cost him the chance of a move to Old Trafford.
Chimbonda told The Athletic : “That’s my biggest regret. That changed a lot of things.
“If I didn’t do what I did then maybe I would have joined Manchester United. But when I made this mistake, I threw my chance away. Man Utd didn’t want to sign someone who would do this.
“Wigan were so mad, they didn’t say anything to me. At the end of the game I gave a written letter to the manager in the dressing room, and he opened it in front of everyone. I wasn’t even showered yet.
“The chairman was there too and I thought ‘what have I done?’ What a stupid thing to do. We were supposed to meet on the Monday, but I was told the manager doesn’t want to see you. Just go on holiday. That’s my big regret. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do this.”
Chimbonda eventually signed for Tottenham in a £4.5million move in the summer of 2006 and spent 13 years in the UK before winding his career down with non-league Ashton Town in 2019.