Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has revealed that the Spanish giants were close to securing the signature of former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira back in 2004.
As reported by the Mirror, Perez claims that the Bernabeu outfit also previously missed out on the signing of Vieira's French compatriot Franck Ribery.
The Real president, of course, has been speaking after the club failed in their pursuit of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea.
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Real looked all but set to complete the signing of the Spanish international on Monday evening, however the move failed to materialise before the close of the transfer window.
Perez, though, has insisted that De Gea's not the first player to slip through the net, as he claimed: "We have missed out on players before, Franck Ribery and Patrick Vieira for example.
Patrick Vieira had previously revealed that he was close to completing a move to Real Madrid, however he opted against the move as he expected to stay on in north London for the remainder of his career.
"I was really close to leaving for Madrid the year before I left," he said.
"The deal was done between the two clubs, so when it was time for me to leave I changed my mind because I believed that I wanted to stay at Arsenal, I wanted to finish my career at Arsenal.
"I didn't see any reason to leave, I don't know if it was lack of courage to go."If I knew I was leaving the year after, I was going to Madrid."
De Gea saga will rumble on
Let's be honest, though, there's still a very good chance De Gea will end up at Real Madrid. Ultimately, with the player currently in the final year of his contract under the guidance of Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, he may well join the Spanish giants on a free transfer next summer.
One thing's for sure, the saga involving De Gea and Real Madrid will only rumble on for some time to come yet.
Do you expect De Gea to eventually join Real Madrid? Have your say below!
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