Back at the start of 2017, when Vinícius Junior drew Europe’s attention following his performances for Flamengo in the Copa São Paulo, Manchester United were one of the clubs who were reportedly interested in him.

The Red Devils were said to be part of a long list who wanted to sign the teenager as soon as possible. The battle, as we all know, was won by Real Madrid, who spent €45m on the signing.

Now it turns out that Manchester United’s interest in the player is even older than that, in a story revealed by Carlos Noval, who worked as a transition manager at Flamengo at the time.

Speaking to ESPN Brasil, the official pointed out that a scout from the Red Devils became impressed with Vinícius Junior back in 2015.

“A foreign scout from Manchester United said: ‘Noval, look at the player you have, he’s a gem! I’ve never seen a 14-year-old player do what he does,'” Noval told ESPN Brasil.

“That reinforced everything we already had in mind. He was a gem to be polished. Everyone wanted Vinicius.”

Despite a slow start at Real Madrid, Vinícius Junior ended up managing to fully adapt to European football and is now arguably one of the best players in their squad.

So far, he has 31 goals and 41 assists in 163 appearances for the Santiago Bernabeu side.