Manchester United defender Scott Wootton has revealed how he almost signed for Premier League rivals Liverpool.
The 21-year-old had a rather unconventional route to the United first-team, in that he hails from Birkenhead, and was initially on the books of Tranmere Rovers.
However, it wasn't long before Liverpool were showing an interest, and so he moved to their academy. Sir Alex Ferguson always kept in touch though, and when Wootton hesitated over signing scholarship forms at Anfield, the Red Devils made their move.
"I wasn't too sure whether I was going to sign (for Liverpool)," he is quoted by the Daily Mail. "United invited me down for a week's trial and said they wanted to sign straight after that. It was really good."
Wootton has been catapulted into United's first-team squad thanks to the injury crisis that has already robbed Ferguson of three central defenders, and leaves him at risk of being without a fourth if Jonny Evans fails to shake off the effects of a dead leg, ahead of the Premier League trip to Newcastle on Sunday.
The talented youngster made his first senior start against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup, and came off the substitutes' bench in Tuesday's Champions League win over Cluj in Romania.
And, while United fans will be eager to see the club's injury problems eased, Wootton could be forgiven for wanting it to carry on a little bit longer.
"The last week or so has been amazing," he enthused. "To make my competitive debut in the League Cup and then to come on and play in the Champions League is a great feeling. It's something I'm made up with.
"It is always the way. As a young player, obviously you don't wish injuries on someone, but that's how you might get your chance. I got my chance against Newcastle through injuries. It's just the way it is."