The Elland Road manager, he claims, was so eager for him to leave that he accepted a cut-price offer of pounds 1.1m for the Frenchman. 'He was ready at all costs,' Cantona writes in his autobiography published today, 'even financial, to ensure that I left.'
The man known as the enfant terrible after a series of disputes with French officialdom, left Leeds after helping them win the 1991/92 championship, just nine months after signing for the club. He describes as 'nonsense' any suggestions he departed Elland Road because of an alleged affair with a team-mate's wife.
'I know that he (Wilkinson) forced me to leave,' he writes. 'The curious thing is that it was not the only time he had acted in such a way with players who were well-liked by the supporters. Vinnie Jones and John Sheridan had both previously found themselves in the same uncomfortable position.
'In the 20 matches I played for Leeds (in 1992/93) I managed to score 11 goals. But I began to have difficulty in decoding the language used by my manager. . . One moment he would tell me I owe everything to him, that I am only a Frenchman lost in the English League, at other times he would say without me the team is nothing.'
In the book, Cantona - My Story (Headline, pounds 15.99), he hints that the wanderlust which seen him play for seven clubs may not be sated. 'As long as we stay together. . . We will be able to move mountains,' he writes about his team-mates. 'But no one can tell when or where one's career will end, or what twists and turns it may take.'Reuse content