Danny Simpson recently revealed that Gary Neville helped him negotiate a new deal at Manchester United, as Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t a fan of talking with agents.
Simpson was in line for an improved contract after rising through the youth ranks to the first team, but Ferguson didn’t want to talk with his representatives, so the right-back used his mentor Neville to do it.
He told Under The Cosh: “(Neville) actually negotiated my contract with Sir Alex. Sir Alex didn’t like agents – he was scared of getting people involved. Gary Neville was helping me and I was learning from him.
“I spoke to him asking for advice and Neville offered to help. I got him to go in with me, so it was me Gary and Sir Alex chatting about my contract! I was like, ‘is this happening?'”
The 36-year-old is best known for winning the Premier League title with Leicester City in 2016, but he began his professional career with the Red Devils after joining as a youth player in 2003. Simpson spent seven years at Old Trafford, making just eight appearances in all competitions.
He had his breakthrough season in 2007/08 after being promoted from the reserves, playing in three Champions League games, three Premier League matches and two domestic cup ties, so it seemed he was destined to be a regular.
Simpson was in line for a new deal as he was no longer a youth player at that point, so Neville made sure Ferguson knew that.
“Neville went in and said ‘Listen, he’s taking over from me – you’ve got to give him more than that (contract offer)’,” Simpson added. “He got it bumped up. But I do look back now and I think maybe they were both in on it.”
Simpson spent more time out on loan than in Manchester, making 30 appearances for Royal Antwerp (2006), 14 for Sunderland (2007), eight for Ipswich Town (2008), 20 for Blackburn Rovers (2008/09) and 20 for Newcastle United (2009).
He eventually left permanently but did win a league title in 2008 after featuring the minimum amount of times for United.
Simpson went on to have three years at Newcastle (2010-2013) and five years at Leicester (2014-2019), so he had a good career at the top level despite the Old Trafford setback.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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