Gary Lineker has revealed he came close to joining Manchester United when he left Barcelona in 1989.
The former Leicester City and Everton striker had spent three years at Barcelona, lifting both the Copa del Rey and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
He eventually chose to join Tottenham Hotspur in order to link up with his former Barcelona boss Terry Venables.
However, Lineker admitted his representatives spoke with Sir Alex Ferguson about the possibility of moving to Old Trafford.
Speaking about the situation at the time, Lineker said: “I was quite open-minded about my next move.
“It looked like I was going to Fiorentina for a while, but then Sven-Goran Eriksson left and so did Roberto Baggio, so that option went away.
“Then Terry Venables came along and did a deal with Barcelona very quickly. Right at the 11th hour it suddenly appeared that Spurs might not be able to do the deal, financially. That’s when my agent spoke with Alex Ferguson.
“It was close to being done, but then Tottenham came back and said they could do it. You have to remember that the Manchester United of 1989 weren’t the Manchester United of four or five years later.”
Lineker is widely regarded to be one of the greatest goalscorers that England has ever produced so the prospect of him lining up in a Man United shirt would have been a tantalising one.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as United didn’t have the status in world football that they do now. Ferguson went on to bring huge success to United while Lineker ended up winning the FA Cup with Spurs in 1991.