The former head of recruitment at Coventry City has revealed how the club almost signed Manchester United’s £50m right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka when he was at Crystal Palace.

The 22-year-old made the switch from the Eagles to the Red Devils in the summer after impressing last season at Selhurst Park and earning a host of admirers.

However, he could have had a very different career path, according to former Coventry head of recruitment Tommy Widdrington who claims that the Sky Blues were “really close” to signing Wan-Bissaka on a free transfer.

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Widdrington told Coventry Live that the club had lined up a deal to bring in a young development player from Palace at the end of the 2017/18 season.

However, the move never came to fruition, and the following campaign, Wan-Bissaka was promoted to the first team with the England international becoming a regular in the starting XI and a fan favourite at the Eagles before his transfer to Manchester United.

Widdrington, who has since moved to Bristol Rovers, said: “I tried to get him on a free to Coventry and was close, really close.

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“But then he got into the Palace team due to two freak injuries.

”I had watched him at the Under-23s playing on the wing for months and said to Mark (Robins) that this kid’s going to be a good full-back, he’s not yet but he will be. Then off he went.

“Some players will get a move that you just didn’t see coming or their club will sell them or whatever.

“There are so many facets from conception – coming up with the player, birth – signing him, or abortion – you’re not going after that one anymore because he’s gone to Celtic or wherever.”


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