Former Chelsea winger Damien Duff has recalled how he could have joined Manchester United before signing for the Blues, and he “looked like a d*ck” during his transfer chat with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Duff was once regarded as one of the best wingers in the Premier League as he shone at Blackburn Rovers, and by the summer of 2003 he was being continually linked with moves to both United and Liverpool.
But it was Chelsea who ultimately won the race for his signature, with the Irishman becoming one of the first major arrivals of the Roman Abramovich era after the Russian billionaire had bought the club.
Duff could have plied his trade at Old Trafford or Anfield though, and he has been recalling his meeting with Ferguson and a United kitman’s house.
“It nearly happened with both [United and Liverpool],” Duff told the Open Goal podcast.
“I’m not sure what my get out [clause] was with Blackburn, maybe £15million or £16million. I went for 17-point-something [million]. It was maybe too much for them.
“I met Alex Ferguson and spoke to him. When you spend time with him and talk to him about football, you want to play for him. I think I just cost too much and they got better wingers than me in the end.
“I met him in the kitman’s house. I think Fergie did all his business in Albert’s house. Albert picked me up at the airport and brought me there.
“I didn’t say a word for two or three hours. I was still a baby, 21 or 22. I just stared at him.
“I was probably dribbling as well.
“Ma made me wear a shirt and tie, as Irish mothers do. I was suited and booted. I looked like a d*ck, probably.
“That’s probably why he didn’t sign me. I was just dribbling looking at him.”