Pagliuca Claims Manchester United Approached Him in 1997 and Aston Villa in 1999


Former Inter goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca disclosed that a potential transfer to Manchester United in 1997, and one to Aston Villa later in 1999, had been in the talks for him. However, these transfers were thwarted by former President Massimo Moratti, who wanted his continued presence.

“When I came back to the national team back in 1997, Manchester United inquired about me. It’s not that I said no, Moratti was telling, ‘Pagliuca is not moving’,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Aston Villa came to me then in 1999, but even Deportivo la Coruna in Spain, who captured La Liga afterwards.”

Thus, the former shot stopper announced that he had twice been about to reach the British Premier League but was happy to remain in San Siro when the superstars landed in Milan.

Pagluica has wise advice to hand out to younger players of 2020. As Serie A prepares to resume again this summer, Pagliuca understands is the players are scared of returning. He reaches out, saying, “If I’d been a player, I would have been a little nervous. I’d start in September, probably with the expectation they’ll be willing to locate a solution for Covid-19 in the meantime.”

However, he is a true footballer at heart, after all: “Yet in my head, truly, I hope the championship restarts. I skip Sunday football matches, or Saturday matches. Our spring matches, or the Premier League, that I enjoy.”

The former Italy international helped Inter lift the UEFA Cup in 1997-98 and held 82 clean sheets for the Nerazzurri in his 234 matches from 1994 to 1999: “I won the UEFA Cup with Inter in Pairs, the Coppa Italia with Sampdoria.”

Pagliuca started in Bologna, where he currently serves as a goalkeeper coach, before transferring to Sampdoria in 1986, helping the Blucerchiati win three Coppa Italia, the Cup Winners’ Cup and the Scudetto during his tenure at the Marassi.

He returned to Bologna after leaving Inter in 1999, before retiring in 2007 after a stay at Ascoli. The former hero has amazing memories associated with the month of May. “I made my debut May 8, on the birthday of my father,” he said.


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