Van der Sar: Why I rejected Reds – and why Utd rejected me

Date published: Wednesday 4th October 2017 11:55

Edwin van der Sar says he came close to joining both Liverpool and Manchester United in 1999.

Van der Sar enjoyed an illustrious playing career over two decades, starting with Ajax in 1990.

He left the Dutch club after winning 14 trophies, including four Eredivisie titles and a Champions League, in nine years.

The 46-year-old states that he had the chance to join Liverpool upon his Ajax departure, but instead chose to move to Juventus.

“When I left Ajax in 1999, I travelled to Liverpool and spoke to Houllier,” he told FourFourTwo magazine.

“I was shown around Anfield and also met with the chairman and a couple of the players. I thought about it, but when Juventus came to the table I came to the conclusion that it would be a bigger challenge to play in Italy.”

Van der Sar also says that he almost joined United that same year, but the club signed Mark Bosnich instead.

“I found out that Ferguson had always been really keen on signing me. But the chairman of United had a deal to sign Mark Bosnich on a free instead.

“So the idea had always been for me to succeed Peter Schmeichel, but it ended up taking six years longer than planned and they tried out some other keepers in that period.

“I found out that United were going to sign me when I discovered a voicemail from Ferguson. That was a special day. That was the moment I thought: ‘This is why I came over to London – to eventually make this next step forward.’

“Ferguson told me he needed someone who could lead and give guidance to the defence. He said he knew I wouldn’t get flustered if the side was under pressure.”

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