FORMER LIVERPOOL MANAGER Graeme Souness says he rejected the opportunity to sign Peter Schmeichel and Eric Cantona before the duo went on to become Manchester United icons.
The long-time Reds midfielder took over as manager at Anfield from 1991 to 1994. Now a Sky Sports pundit, Souness has reflected on the former Red Devils he could have brought to Liverpool.
“I missed out on two players who went on to become Manchester United legends,” said Souness
“Ron Yeats, the chief scout then, told me there was a young Danish goalkeeper — Peter Schmeichel — who was a Liverpool fan and willing to pay his own travel and hotel in exchange for some time with us.
“I was trying to ease out Bruce Grobbelaar and that was proving a hassle, plus I had just signed David James, so I thought I could do without a rookie keeper.”
Renowned goalkeeper Schmeichel signed with Manchester United from Brondby in 1991 before claiming five Premier League titles, three FA Cup crowns and a Champions League triumph over eight seasons under Alex Ferguson.
Controversial striker Cantona signed with the Old Trafford side from Leeds United in 1992, going on to score 82 goals for the Red Devils.
“Eric Cantona was another I missed out on,” Souness wrote.
“We played Auxerre at home and Michel Platini came to see me afterwards.
“He said he had a player for me, a problem boy but a proper player. It was Cantona, but I said the last thing I needed was another problem player.
“I had 30-pluses I was trying to get out, so I didn’t need more hassle. I said I was looking for something else and so it was no thanks.”