Liverpool once passed on signing Man Utd legend | inside World Soccer

Liverpool once passed on signing Man Utd legend

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Liverpool once passed on signing Man Utd legend
Photo: Getty Images

Ex-Liverpool manager Graeme Souness has revealed he turned down the chance to sign a player who would later become a Manchester United legend, Eric Cantona.

Starting his career at Auxerre, Cantona's talent was undeniable, but a series of incidents, including a notorious kung-fu kick on a Nantes player, marked his time in French football.

Despite these challenges, then-France boss Michel Platini saw potential in Cantona and set out on a mission to get him to play in England.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Souness revealed Platini offered him the chance to sign Cantona, but he wasn't interested.

I'm manager of Liverpool and we play Auxerre in the UEFA Cup. We lost 2-0 there and we came back and beat them 3-0.

I was in my office and a guy called Terry Littlewood, who was in charge of security from my office, he controlled the corridor. He knocked on my door and said someone wants to come and see you.

I said, "Who is it?" He said, "it's Michel Platini." So he came in and I've only ever played against him a few times and only ever tried to kick him.

So I wasn't exactly his mate but he gave me a hug, kissed me on both cheeks, and ends up saying, "I've got a player for you, he is perfect for you. He's a problem boy in France but he'd be great for your football club."

Eric Cantona. I'd never heard of him, and I said, "look, I am fighting fires here at the moment, I believe he's a proper player but right now I don't need any more problem boys."

So he could have been a Liverpool player.

Whilst Liverpool turned down the chance to sign Cantona, Sheffield Wednesday offered him a trial before Leeds United snapped him up in January 1992.

United would eventually snap him up just ten months later where he would become a club legend, scoring 82 times in 185 appearances and helping them win four Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

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