Valencia full-back Jose Luis Gaya has explained he rejected the opportunity to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2015: “I was too young.”
The approach came just months after Gaya celebrated his 20th birthday and he had only played 43 times for the first team at Los Che.
“I said no to Real Madrid, I was too young,” Gaya told Movistar, as cited by Diario AS.
“It is a compliment that a team like Madrid wanted to sign me, but I decided to stay.”
The left-back penned a new long-term deal at Los Che a year ago with a release clause which remains unclear, with reports of its value ranging between €40m and €100m.
Gaya starred for Spain’s Under-21 side in the 2017 European Championships and has gone on to win seven caps for the Spain senior team, scoring once and becoming a fixture in Valencia’s first team.
Marcelo has been the long-term first choice left-back at Real Madrid, who since went on to sign specialist players in the position such as Theo Hernandez and Ferland Mendy, while Sergio Reguilon is currently on loan at Sevilla.
Gaya has made 223 first-team appearances at the Mestalla.