Man United wanted to sell David Beckham to Barcelona - NOT Real Madrid

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David Beckham is presented to the press at the Real Madrid press conference announcing his signing to Real Madrid on July 2, 2003 at the Pabellon Raimundo Saporta, in Madrid, Spain
Photo: Getty Images Europe

David Beckham has revealed how he forced through his move to Real Madrid despite Manchester United agreeing a deal with Barcelona in 2003.

Having come through the Red Devils ranks as the member of the famous Class of '92, Beckham had evolved into one of the biggest stars at Old Trafford.

Beckham was a linchpin of United's dominance of 90s football, helping them to the treble in 1999.

However, his exit from the Premier League giants came about following a major deterioration in the player's relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson.

The pair's most public falling-out came in February 2003 when, after an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, Ferguson kicked a boot at Beckham that left him with a cut above the eye.

A dressing room spat that had since become public made it so that both the club and the player were looking to part ways that summer.

The 44-year-old explained to BBC Radio show Desert Island Discs in 2017 that he learned of United's desire to sell him to Barcelona against his will.

I had heard rumours I might be sold. I was on holiday in the States with Victoria and one of my friends called and told me it was on Sky Sports that United has agreed terms with Barcelona.

I told him, "that's not right I don't know anything about it".

I then flew back to London. I tried to speak to Peter Kenyon as well as the manager, but they said "no".

I told them I needed to understand what was going on and they admitted a deal had been agreed with Barcelona.

Beckham's last resort, therefore, was to force a move to Madrid over Barcelona instead.

That's when I spoke to my agent and said, "If I am going to move, I am going to move to Madrid".

Within a day I sat with the President of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, and we agreed a deal.

The former England captain would eventually join Los Blancos for £25 million in the summer of 2003.

He won La Liga with Real, playing alongside the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luís Figo, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and Raúl, before later lining out in the colours of LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

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