‘Liverpool wanted me, I heard rumours about Man United but I agreed move to Chelsea’

MARIO MELCHIOT has revealed the top Premier League clubs were chasing him before he agreed a move to Chelsea.

Melchiot joined the Blues in 1999 but he last night spoke out on the transfer scramble that surrounded his capture.

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier flew to Holland to hold talks with the then 22-year-old to try and lure him away from Ajax.

West Ham wanted him too while Manchester United were also linked with a swoop.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Fantasy Football Club, Melchiot said: “I had a lot of offers. I had Liverpool. Houllier flew to Amsterdam and sat down and held talks with my agent.

“Harry Redknapp, too. At that time he was at West Ham. He had a young side that he was bringing through.

“There were rumours about Manchester United – but then Chelsea came in and I was like ‘yes’.

“It was the second time they came in. They came in two years ago when Ruud Gullit was there but then Gianlucai Vialli came in.

“He rang me through my agent and I got on the phone to him.

“I was 21, hearing a big coach talking about myself and I was like ‘okay, this guy knows exactly who I am and he really wants me’.

“Then I was set – I said I was going to Chelsea.”