Amad Diallo may have completed his move to Manchester United from Atalanta but things could have been very different had a Roma scout got his way.
Ole Gunner Solskjaer revealed that the Reds had been tracking the 18-year-old for a number of years thanks to his potential.
Yet United are not the only club to have shown an interest in the youngster.
After moving to Italy from his homeland of Ivory Coast as a youngster, Diallo spent a year playing at Boca Barco’s youth team in 2014.
He impressed enough to sign for Atalanta in 2015 but Boca Barco president Enzo Guerri has revealed there was a heated contest to secure the then-12-year-old’s signature.
In fact, one Atalanta’s Serie A rivals Roma were also keen on his services, with one scout describing the winger as a potential champion based on just five minutes of play.
“Atalanta was certainly not the only one to put him in the crosshairs,” he told tuttomercatoweb.
“There was a line of observers to see Diallo, they came to our field from all over Italy.
“Amad made three auditions in Turin with Juve, and was called by Reggiana, Sassuolo, Empoli, Rome and, in fact, Atalanta.
“He tried them all until he found the right place for the big jump. Not surprisingly, he became the first scorer in our Serie A class of 2002 in the Nerazzurri.”
“I remember a very funny act drop with a Roma observer,” he continued.
“He came to see him in a match and, after a stop aimed at the chest by Diallo at 5 minutes, he turned his back to the field and went away.
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Manchester United’s good form was punctured by a 2-0 Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Man City.
Goals from John Stones and Fernandinho secured a deserved win for City as United laboured at Old Trafford, losing a fourth semi-final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United will now refocus on their league campaign, though more immediately they have an FA Cup tie vs Watford to look forward to on Saturday night.
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“I immediately asked him for an explanation and he answered me: ‘Things like that, at the age of 12, only potential champions do. Seeing him in this match is of little use, take him to Rome to train with our team’.
“At Atalanta, however, they made him play from day one with the boys older than a year. In short, Amad has always been predestined.”