Donny van de Beek has told Dutch press that his international team-mate Steven Bergwijn tried to convince him to join him at Tottenham, prior to his transfer to Manchester United.
Spurs were one of many clubs heavily linked with the Dutchman, but United came out of the blue and made a deal happen. Within 24 hours of the first substantial reporting on their interest, the Red Devils' decisiveness paid off, and a deal was announced.
That would have come to the disappointment of Bergwijn, however, who joined José Mourinho's team in January, and wanted Van de Beek to join him in North London.
“Steven Bergwijn texted me to see whether I would play for Spurs,” the midfielder told Algemeen Dagblad, as quoted by Goal. “But I chose United.
"I felt ready for the next step. This was the time to go. That is why I was on the phone with my agent last weekend. In the end, there was an agreement."
Spurs fans are left imagining a parallel universe where Van de Beek heeded Bergwijn's words, and they have something in common with Real Madrid in that regard. Not long after the move was confirmed, he told De Telegraaf that he might not have been available this summer, had a move to Real Madrid gone through as planned a year ago.
He admits everything was 'closed', but fell through when Real could not clear sufficient space in the squad for his arrival.
“Everything was closed with Real Madrid and the clubs also had an agreement, but for some reason it did not materialise,” he said. .“Players who were going to leave the team stayed and Madrid backed down."
Van de Beek will wear the number 34 shirt at Old Trafford when the Premier League season kicks off next weekend. He joins Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic in an impressive looking midfield.