The former England striker was coming off a fine spell with Barcelona in 1989 when faced with a decision to make over where he landed back in England.
And after Tottenham struggled initially to put up the required numbers, Lineker reveals United sensed an opportunity to sign the striker.
“Right at the 11th hour it suddenly appeared that Spurs might not be able to do the deal, financially,” Lineker told FourFourTwo.
“That’s when my agent spoke with Alex Ferguson, who was keen to take me to Old Trafford.
“It was close to being done, but then Tottenham came back and said they could do it. You have to remember that the Manchester United of 1989 weren’t the Manchester United of four or five years later.”
It was the second time in Lineker’s career that he rejected a move to Old Trafford.
With the first coming four years earlier, only to opt for Everton after leaving Leicester.
Lineker wrote on Twitter: “I wanted to go to Everton and I did. Important to remember that Man United were very average at the time and Everton were champions.”
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