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"Unbelievable" Man United star who "scared strikers to death" was close to joining Liverpool

Ryan Smart

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"Unbelievable" Man United star who "scared strikers to death" was close to joining Liverpool

Man United legend Nemanja Vidic came close to joining Liverpool before signing for the Red Devils in 2006.

Vidic moved to England from Spartak Moscow for £7 million in the January transfer window. It was a chaotic transfer, given that Fiorentina had already agreed terms with the Serbian.

However, the deal stalled due to the Italian side not having enough non-EU spots on the roster (it would be another three years before Serbia applied for EU membership, following the dissolution of the union between Serbia and Montenegro).

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It was Sir Alex Ferguson and United that managed to get a deal done eventually. That prompted one of the most dominant centre-back partnerships in Premier League history, with Vidic and Rio Ferdinand marshalling United's back four for much of the next six years.

The Serbian man mountain made over 200 appearances prior to leaving the club in the summer of 2014. He won 15 trophies with the club, including five Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.

He earned huge praise from ex-team-mates and his footballing peers. Former Red Devils forward Robin van Persie said he was "unbelievable", whilst fellow United star Michael Carrick described him as somebody who "scared centre-forwards to death".

But, according to Vidic himself, things could have been much different for player and club.

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Vidic's Liverpool talks, why he joined Man United instead

Speaking to FourFourTwo in 2016, Vidic revealed that he had discussions with then-Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez about a potential move to Anfield.

At the time, Liverpool were reigning Champions League winners, having famously lifted the trophy in Istanbul in 2005.

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They would eventually qualify for the following season's competition too. They ended the 2005/06 season in third place in the league, just one point behind United.

Vidic explained: "Rafa Benitez called me, and I nearly went there. I was interested in going. My English wasn't good, and I was struggling to communicate.

"Then Manchester United came. Fergie called me at my apartment and said: 'I watched you play for Serbia against France - I want you here'.

"United were decisive. Everything was done very quickly, within two days."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Nemanja Vidic, Liverpool, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Robin Van Persie, Michael Carrick

Ryan Smart
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