If you play for Liverpool, you don’t jump ship and join Manchester United. And vice versa (unless you’re Michael Owen or Paul Ince).
You certainly don’t do it if you’re a bona fide club legend and the side’s most influential player. But that didn’t stop Gary Neville from trying to lure Steven Gerrard to Old Trafford back when the pair were in their prime.
Neville, who won it all under Sir Alex Ferguson at United, attempted to convince Gerrard to join him at Liverpool’s arch rivals in 2004.
It was around the time when Gerrard, who only departed Liverpool for LA Galaxy last summer, was linked with a move to Chelsea.
But Neville tried to hijack the move all by himself.
Here’s how he told it in his book, Red:
“Steven Gerrard is undoubtedly a world class player and I wish he’d played for United. I went on a tapping-up mission at Euro 2004 when I knew Chelsea were trying to take advantage of Liverpool being in turmoil. ‘Come play for United,’ I said one day to Steven when we were in the hotel. ‘The fans will take to you in no time.’ He just laughed, and said: ‘I’ll do it if you go to Anfield.'”
And Gerrard verified Neville’s claims, when he wrote a book of his own (imaginatively titled, My Story) in 2015. Here’s what Gerrard had to say on it:
“My agent, Struan Marshall, told me that, under Fergie, United had a decent pop at trying to sign me. Gary Neville would knock at my door during England camps.
“He’d come in for a chat and let me know how much United would love me to play for them. Gary told me Fergie had sent him.”
So much for Fergie not believing Stevie G was a “top, top player” then.