Facundo Pellistri has revealed Manchester United swooped late to sign him for just under £10m last summer.
Pellistri signed for United from Uruguayan side Penarol last year and he went out on loan to Deportivo Alaves for the second half of last season, before it was announced that he would rejoin the Spanish side, albeit on a season-long loan instead this term.
It’s believed United are considering recalling Pellistri, though, as the 19-year-old has started just one game in La Liga.
Regardless of that potential eventuality, Pellistri has looked back and reflected on how he actually joined United last year.
Pellistri has explained he was close to joining French club Lyon before United made a later offer, while he also admitted that playing the video game FIFA as United over the years led him to be attracted to the move to England.
“There were rumours of interest from Europe but you don’t know what’s true,” Pellistri told The Athletic.
“Everything had gone so quick in my career. I was nervous about the rumours, but Diego [Forlan] said, ‘Manchester [United] called me.
They are interested in you. Just keep on doing what you are doing and you may have a possibility to go.'”Then there were more offers, one from Lyon in France.
Those days were very stressful for me and my family. We were playing games for Penarol and there was COVID.
I was in the training ground all the time and had to sleep there.”We couldn’t see our family and I was alone in my room. In my mind, I was going to Lyon but, in the last minute, there was an offer from Manchester United.
My agent called me. I wanted to go to United, of course. Who wouldn’t?”When I played FIFA, I used to play a lot as United because they had so many great players.”