Wayne Rooney, a Manchester United legend, has stated that Sir Alex Ferguson’s first effort to sign him for the Red Devils did not go as planned.
The former England international, who went on to become Manchester United’s all-time leading goal-scorer and win many Premier League titles as well as the Champions League during his time at Old Trafford, was approached by the club when he was just 14 years old.
When Ferguson called Rooney’s parents to discuss a move, he made it obvious that he did not want to leave Everton.
Speaking at an event this week, Rooney shared some amusing memories from his playing days and made fun of some of his former teammates, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand.
“Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign me when I was 14,” he stated of Ferguson’s first effort to sign him. He was on the phone with my mother and father.
“They said, ‘Alex is on the phone, Manchester United is interested in signing you.'” ‘Tell him to f*** off,’ I said. ‘I’d like to play for Everton.’
“Then, as time passed, I realized I had to play for Alex Ferguson.” Alex Ferguson was the driving force behind my decision to join United.”
Rooney created a name for himself at Everton when he was just 16 years old, becoming the Premier League’s youngest ever goal-scorer at the time.
He ended up joining United at the age of 18, which appears to have been the wisest move in retrospect, as he was already a well-established star when he arrived in Manchester.
If Rooney had transferred as a 14-year-old, he could have found it more difficult to get those early opportunities in a United team stacked with superstars.