We are all familiar with Jose Mourinho’s seemingly endless pursuit of Steven Gerrard during his time as Chelsea manager, with the Liverpool skipper turning him down on each occasion, but this week Gerrard has revealed that the Portuguese manager was not the only man after his signature.
According to the Liverpool captain, after the departure of their skipper, Roy Keane, Manchester United made an attempt to persuade Gerrard to join them.
Back in 2004, Alex Ferguson made it very clear that he thought Steven Gerrard was a fantastic player, saying, “If you were looking for the player you would replace Keane with, it would be Gerrard,” adding that “anybody would love to have Gerrard in their team.”
Until now most people had simply brushed these comments off as flattery or perhaps an attempt at mind games (we know how much Fergie loves those), but Gerrard says there was more to it than that.
While with the England camp, Gerrard was approached by Gary Neville, who told him that Alex Ferguson wanted to sign him.
Gerrard explains: “Gary Neville said he (Ferguson) wanted me. But you understand that playing for Manchester United would have been impossible. I never would have wanted to play for Manchester United.”
There is no doubt that Steven Gerrard would have been the perfect replacement for the Celtic-bound Keane but this revelation will still come as a tremendous shock to those of us who consider rival players to be just that, rivals. As a Liverpool fan, I couldn’t stomach the thought of Gary Neville wearing the Liver bird on his chest.
In this same interview Gerrard also goes on to explain that Mourinho’s pursuit of him didn’t end along with his reign as Chelsea boss. In fact, upon becoming Real Madrid manager two years ago, Mourinho made another move for the Liverpool skipper. Gerrard reveals that “he came back when he arrived at Real Madrid two years ago,” which will surprise many who believed that Gerrard’s days of being considered for transfers were long behind him, having proved his unerring loyalty to The Kop.
Throughout his career, Steven Gerrard has fielded numerous offers for his services but has stayed true to himself every time. There is no doubt that Steven Gerrard is a role model for young footballers everywhere, and will forever be remembered as a true legend of the game (even if Sven doesn’t think so).
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