Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli revealed he was rejected by Manchester United when he was a teenager.
The 20-year-old was kidnapped by the Gunners in 2019 as he transferred £6m from Brazilian side Ituano.
But in the years before that, he’d been on trial at Manchester United on four occasions – and met stars like Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney in the process.
Martinelli has now confirmed that the Red Devils never tried to tie him to a deal at Old Trafford.
Talking to the athleteHe said: “My dad and I watched the Premier League together, all the teams, like Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester.
“I actually did four different trials at United when I was 13, 14, 15 and 16.
“This was in Manchester at the club’s training base, where I played in the same age group as Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams, and met first-team players, such as Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra.
“There wasn’t a moment, though, that they said they wanted me (to sign) there.
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“But it gave me a taste and made the adjustment a little easier because I had experienced football in England.
“Even after those experiences, I’ve always believed in myself. My brain is always thinking, ‘I can do this.'”
Martinelli arrived in the Emirates in his early teens and walked in the Arsenal shirt.
He scored 10 goals in his first season with the North London team.
But since then his progress has stalled somewhat, as he scored only six times in his subsequent 44 appearances for the club.
But despite his struggle to maintain a level of consistency, former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere earlier this month praised coach Mikel Arteta’s work with Martinelli.
He said: “The one I really like and I think will be at the front, is Martinelli.
“I think what the manager did with him was genius too.
“When I first went there, he was training, he wasn’t playing much, but he was training really well, and I was thinking ‘He’ll get a chance here’ and in the end he got his chance and it was great.”
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