Steven Gerrard – how I came close to joining Manchester United and Chelsea

But Liverpool captain is delighted he eventually he stayed at Anfield

Steven Gerrard claims Sir Alex Ferguson's opinion of him that he is not a "top, top player" left him feeling "gutted", but revealed Ferguson tried to sign him for Manchester United on multiple occasions. The Liverpool captain also admitted that Chelsea’s bids for him in 2005 and 2006 did "turn his head", but he is pleased he made the decision to stay at Anfield.

In Ferguson’s best-selling book, My Autobiography, the former manager writes that he never classed Gerrard as an elite player. The England captain has since revealed that Ferguson tried to sign him numerous occasions, including when he was still a schoolboy, and also in 2002/03.

"I went on trial at Manchester United when I was 13 and had a letter off them wanting to sign me on a seven-year-deal," Gerrard told The Clare Balding Show on BT Sport 1.

"I’m a huge fan of Alex Ferguson and what he’s done in the game is fantastic, that’s the reason why he’s sold that many copies in the first week, I was generally a little bit gutted when I read that, the reaction of the papers, when he said I wasn’t a top, top player. But I won’t lose sleep over it, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

"He tried to sign me in early 2002/03, he tried to sign me again to play for United, I obviously refused, so I can’t really take it to heart too much. But I’m a bit gutted because I’m a big fan of his."

Gerrard nearly signed for Chelsea for £32m in 2005 after leading Liverpool to Champions League success, but he says he is delighted that he made the final decision to stay at Anfield, despite the lure of trophies at Stamford Bridge.

"They [Chelsea] tried [to complete the move] on two occasions in 2005 and 2006," the 33-year-old said.

"I am Liverpool man through and through but I have to admit it did turn my head, because big things were happening at Chelsea.

"They were spending huge amounts of money and at Liverpool at the time we were struggling and my relationship with [Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez] was a bit up and down.

"I have openly admitted that it did turn my head, but now I can honestly admit from the bottom of my heart the best decision I have made was to stay at the club that I love."

Sir Alex Ferguson criticised Steven Gerrard in his autobiography Sir Alex Ferguson criticised Steven Gerrard in his autobiography  

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn