Man United FC

‘I should have listened when I left Man Utd to join Chelsea – I regretted the transfer’: Sir Ferguson’s favorite signing

Juan Sebastian Veron, one of Roman Abramovich’s early signings for Chelsea, made a departure from Manchester United in 2003, marking a rare occasion of a player leaving the club by choice under Sir Alex Ferguson’s management.

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Unlike several who departed for international moves, Veron joined a rival team.

During his two-year stint at Old Trafford, Veron contributed with 11 goals in 82 appearances and left after securing the Premier League title.

His arrival at United in 2001 set a British transfer record of £28.1 million.

Sir Alex Ferguson expressed surprise at the substantial investment, stating, “I never thought I’d spend this much money on a footballer.”

He highlighted Veron’s world-class skills and expected to benefit from his peak years in football.

In 2021, Veron spoke warmly about Sir Alex’s demanding yet supportive management style, emphasizing the manager’s high standards.

Despite Ferguson’s backing, Veron acknowledged his inconsistency in meeting expectations and the challenge of maintaining stable performance.

Settling into life at United proved challenging for Veron, impacting his on-field contributions. A significant change in culture for his family played a role.

The opportunity to join Chelsea arose as Abramovich aimed for a statement summer, spending £111 million.

Veron moved for £15 million, resulting in a £13 million loss for United from the original purchase fee.

While Veron’s switch to Stamford Bridge wasn’t straightforward, with a substantial back injury affecting his playing time, he reflected on his departure from Manchester United in 2019.

He expressed regret about leaving, acknowledging that although the club never pressured him to go, the chance to stay was presented.

Veron admitted that, in hindsight, he should have remained at Manchester United.

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