Gary Neville has revealed how quickly Steven Gerrard turned down a move to Man United, despite Alex Ferguson trying to sign him.
Steven Gerrard was Liverpool through and through, but that didn’t stop his head occasionally being turned.
That was a long, drawn out saga, that involved lots of lengthy decision-making. However, when it came to turning down Man United, there was no question of allegiance.
Gary Neville explained on The Overlap how, in 2004, he “went into his (Gerrard’s) room with England and asked him to sign for [Man] United,” on the orders of manager Alex Ferguson.
The former right-back then revealed how Gerrard responded, saying: “He said, seriously, ‘I wouldn’t get out of Liverpool and my family would never get out of Liverpool.’
“They were his exact words to me.”
It was on Ferguson’s demands that Neville had carried out the ‘tapping up’. Neville admitted his boss had told him the task was “ambitious.”
The pundit added: “I think his (Ferguson’s) words were telling: ‘I’ll go and fetch him and I’ll walk him back down the East Lancs.'”
While there was some exaggeration, Gerrard wasn’t wrong about the anger he would have caused with a move to Man United. A year later, people were burning his shirts at the prospect of a transfer to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
The Liverpool captain later admitted why he was nearly lured to London.
In 2013, Gerrard explained: “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.”
Thankfully, neither move came to pass and Liverpool’s No. 8 stayed on Merseyside until the very end of his career, when he played 39 matches, after 710 with the Reds.