Wayne Rooney might have spent the summer trying to engineer a move to Chelsea, but the West Londoner tried to pounce on one of United’s biggest assets way before the 27-year-old arrived at Old Trafford.
Speaking on the American network PBS, Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that Roman Abramovich tried to lure him to Stamford Bridge in 2003, soon after Fergie had lifted his eight league title with United and the Russian empire at Chelsea was still in its infancy.
“They used an agent to approach me when Abramovich first took over the club and I said: ‘No chance.’,” said Fergie, who believes United are in “good hands” under David Moyes, despite a rather unimpressive start to the campaign.
The former United manager also ruled out the opportunity of a return, should he be called upon by the club he managed for 26, extremely successful, years.
“I made my decision. The timing was perfect. There is no way back for me now. I’ve got a new life. I want to go to the Kentucky Derby and the US Masters, the Melbourne Cup. I want to visit vineyards in Tuscany and France,” said Fergie during the interview that aired on Tuesday night in America, during which he reiterated that Wayne Rooney submitted a transfer request this summer.
Since 2003, Chelsea and Manchester United have changed a great deal. The former have gone from being a cup team at best to be one of Premier League’s best clubs, thanks in no small part to Abramovich’s financial resources that have allowed managers to cherry pick some of the world’s best players, while United were burdened by the Glazers takeover in 2005.
In the last decade, Chelsea won two Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho and one under Carlo Ancelotti, a European Cup under Roberto Di Matteo and a Europa League under Rafa Benitez, as well as four FA Cups and two League Cups, while United have won five league titles, a European Cup, one FA Cup and three League Cups.
Things could have been very different had Sir Alex being swayed by Abramovich’s money and one has to wonder how Mourinho must have felt when he realised he was the Russian’s second choice 10 years ago.
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