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28th Apr 2018

David De Gea opens up on failed Real Madrid transfer

He also praised Sir Alex Ferguson for helping him overcome tough spells

Reuben Pinder

It fell through at the last minute.

David De Gea was moments away from moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2015, but the move fell through thanks to a dodgy fax machine. It was an incredible turn of events, as a big money transfer relied on a fax machine, in the year 2015, but Manchester United fans will forever be grateful for the technological error that kept the goalkeeper at Old Trafford.

De Gea is still at United, and is arguably their most important player, given the chopping and changing that goes in among their fragile defence.

Speaking to the Mailhe recently opened up about what happened on that transfer deadline day almost thee years ago.

After the transfer didn’t happen, De Gea didn’t start the next two games for United, and it appeared that Louis van Gaal, then manager of United, had dropped the keeper in favour of Sergio Romero. However, De Gea revealed that the reason he wasn’t playing immediately after that transfer window was that “I wasn’t sure how Old Trafford would react to me.”

“I was nervous walking out that day. They have always been behind me but I did wonder that day. As it transpired, they were amazing. Everyone was singing my name. It was important for me.”

De Gea had a rocky start to his United career, after being brought there by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011, but he has overcome the obstacles and transformed into one of the best goalkeepers on the planet. He highlighted two key moments in his journey to becoming the player he is today.

“It (the 3-3 draw against Chelsea) might have been the defining moment of my United career. From there, it got better and better. Juan is still p***** off about that one,” De Gea said.

He is of course referring to the Premier League clash in 2011/12, during which he pulled off an incredible save from a Juan Mata free kick, back when Mata still played for Chelsea.

The other moment was off the pitch, but equally as significant.

“The second big moment was midway through my second season. I had been under pressure after a game at Spurs, where Gary Neville criticised me.

“I made a mistake late on but I’d made a hatful of brilliant saves that day. It doesn’t bother me. Neville was right about the error. It was snowing and I misjudged a cross.

“Not long after, we were playing at Real Madrid. Ferguson brought me into the press conference in the Bernabeu. He told everyone, the British media, the Spanish media, that I had a special talent.

“I remember what he said exactly. He compared me to a toddler taking their first steps forward. You wobble, get up, wobble, get up again and then you walk.

“Ferguson ended that press conference saying, “The boy is walking now”. Ferguson sat next to me and told the world how much he believed in me. I felt emboldened. Ferguson was very patient with me. He did not shout and was never too harsh. He knew I needed time and trust.”