Gary Neville has revealed a 30 second conversation that convinced him Steven Gerrard would never join Manchester United.
Gerrard spent the entirety of his European career with boyhood club Liverpool, joining the academy in 1998, later leaving the club for MLS side LA Galaxy pre-retirement in 2015.
The current Aston Villa manager was known as a ‘one club man’ despite his brief American excursion, but that didn’t stop rival teams from almost poaching Gerrard, with Chelsea coming the closest in 2005.
Despite narrowly missing out on the Liverpool captain whilst managing the Blues, Jose Mourinho reportedly tried again at Real Madrid and Inter Milan, peaking Gerrard’s interest.
However, there was one club that had no chance at all.
In a conversation with fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, lifelong Manchester United defender Gary Neville recalled the one time he attempted to tap-up Gerrard.
His long-time manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was a huge admirer of the Champions League-winning midfielder, and thought he’d see what Neville could do whilst on international duty with Gerrard.
“Will I get fined by the FA for this, for an illegal approach?” Neville initially joked about tapping up.
“I think it would be something casual, it wouldn’t be like ‘go and poach him’ or anything like that.
“But have a chat with him, see what his plans are, where does he like to eat? What was he like? That type of thing, have a conversation.”
Neville revealed he was part of the plot to tempt all-time Premier League top scorer Alan Shearer to Old Trafford, but was too young to have a big impact.
With the bigger standing in the game later on though, the legendary No.2 tried his hand with some Liverpool-born candidates.
“I think there were two or three times it happened with England with me, where I spoke to Alan Shearer during Euro 1996,” Neville explained. “I had a conversation with him.
“But I was more junior at that time, so I couldn’t have a serious conversation with him.
“Definitely with Wayne Rooney had a little chat, but just again, he’s a younger player so you can’t put too much pressure on him.
“With Stevie, it was a full on assault. Let’s get him out of there. I want him out of there.
“To be fair, Stevie’s answer was, he said: ‘My family and me would never be able to go back to Liverpool ever again.’
“It was a very short conversation. He was very loyal to Liverpool fans. Not as loyal I think when [Chelsea’s] John Terry went round to his room.
“I think John Terry got around ten minutes out of him, I got probably around 30 seconds.”
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