Portuguese side Braga announced this month the signing of Nico Gaitán. They got the winger on a free transfer from Lille, and agreed a one-year deal, with an option for a further one.
It’s fair to say that when Manchester United fans hear his name, most of them remember the rumours that linked him to the club almost one decade ago.
At that time, front pages in the Portuguese media used to claim that Gaitán’s move to Old Trafford was done, but that ended up never happening.
Newspaper Record featured a big interview with the player this weekend, and included a question about those rumours. They first asked him if there was this possibility to move to the Premier League side, and the 32-year-old only said ‘yes‘.
Then they asked Gaitán to explain why it never happened, and the player said it was due to the lack of a work permit from the Premier League.
“Once it was because of the work permit. I had no European citizenship and wasn’t a national team player. I used to be called up, but I didn’t play and it was necessary to fulfil a number of games. It didn’t meet these requirements and it wasn’t possible. But if it didn’t happen, it was for some reason.”
“What is certain is that I never asked to leave Benfica. Neither at Boca Juniors. I never asked to leave, nor did I kick the door to apply pressure to leave. I always let my agent handle it. He’d speak and I’d just give my point of view, without ever putting pressure.”