After an earlier revelation on Manchester United missing out on legendary midfielder Zinedine Zidane, the club’s former chairman Martin Edwards has now claimed that several other key players, such as Premier League legends Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne, were also missed.
Speaking to MUTV, Edwards revealed: “Paul Gascoigne was certainly one [we missed out on]. We thought he was coming but he decided to join Tottenham. I think there were certain last-minute inducements involved.”
“I’d done the negotiations for Alan Shearer and again, I thought he was coming. But [Blackburn owner] Jack Walker was very adamant he wasn’t coming to Manchester United. It was a case of ‘over my dead body’ but he allowed him to go to Newcastle,” added Edwards.
Another former England and Barcelona star, Gary Lineker, too, was an option for United. But with the Old Trafford unit already having a host of strikers at that time, the club decided to let go of his pursuit. Edwards stated that it was then manager Ron Atkinson who took the decision on Lineker.
“Gary Lineker, as you know, was going to sign for Everton and his agent Jon Holmes rang me on the day and said: ‘We’re about to go on the train to sign for Everton but his first choice would be Manchester United, if you want him to come.’
“I put it to Ron [Atkinson] and he said: ‘I’ve got four strikers already. The last thing we need is another striker.’ So we passed on that one,” Edwards revealed.
Another player that did not see himself in Manchester was Liverpool player John Barnes. With Jesper Olsen in the squad, Fergie decided to go ahead with the youngster instead.
“With John Barnes, Graham Taylor rang Alex Ferguson to see if he wanted to take him before he signed for Liverpool. Alex passed on him because it was his first season, he had Jesper Olsen in his squad and he wanted to see whether Jesper would make it.”
Written by Rajdeep Saha
Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.