Former Blackburn Rovers star Matt Jansen, whose career was wrecked by injury, has revealed that Manchester United tried to sign him three times.
The 35-year-old is currently player/coach at non-league Chorley but he has revealed in an interview with the BBC that he turned down Sir Alex Ferguson twice.
Jansen was an extremely talented young forward and the Old Trafford boss was not the only manager to admire him.
Sven Goran Eriksson was on the verge of including him in the England squad for the 2002 World Cup before a motorcycle accident while on holiday in Rome put the Carlisle youngster into a coma for six days.
Jansen failed to rediscover the form of his early career and has admitted the though of missing out on a stellar career and a move to Manchester United, among other things, lead him to suffering from depression.
He opened up in an interview with BBC Sporting Spotlight this week, revealing how close he came to joining the Red Devils.
“I'd just broken into the first-team at Carlisle, wanted to continue playing regular football and I thought that I might have had to bide my time at Manchester United,” he said when asked why he chose Crystal Palace over United in 1998.
“They came in for me again and I went to Blackburn [from Palace] instead but that was due to Palace needing all the funds up front.
“United also triggered a clause in my contract and wanted to speak to me about a possible move just before I got on the motorbike in Rome.
“There is quite a lot to dwell on which is why it took me so long to get over...if I still am!”