Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has revealed that Liverpool had registered an interest in signing him during his days with Juventus, before the Dutchman embarked on an illustrious Premier League career.
Van der Sar joined Juventus from Ajax in 1999 and had, for two seasons, been the club’s undisputed No.1. This changed when Gianluigi Buffon was acquired from Parma in a record-breaking deal, and led Van der Sar to pursue a move elsewhere.
The ex-Netherlands international eventually chose a move to Fulham, where he spent four seasons, but there were opportunities to join more established clubs, with Liverpool having considered an approach to bring him to Anfield.
“Yes, there were enquiries from German and other English clubs - including Liverpool.”
“But I wanted to make a decision early on in the transfer window while other top clubs chose to wait until the deadline day,” Van der Sar told SportsKeeda.
“I wanted to make a decision as soon as possible and I chose Fulham. They were an ambitious side and were offering good terms. And I had planned to stay at the club for a couple of years before making a move to a top Premier League club.
“But it took me a little longer, four years, before the biggest club in the country signed me up.”
As Van der Sar alludes to, he was eventually able to join one of England’s elite clubs as had been his ambition, with Sir Alex Ferguson making the move to sign him in order to solve his goalkeeper troubles once and for all.
The Manchester United manager had been on the lookout for a suitable long-term successor to Peter Schmeichel after he had left Old Trafford in 1999, but struggled to find a player of anywhere near comparable standard.
Fabien Barthez was the only other ‘keeper that had been able to hold down a regular place following Schmeichel’s departure, and Ferguson would later claim it was a great regret that he had not signed Van der Sar before he joined Juventus.
Van der Sar established himself as arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history during 12 seasons in England, six of which he spent with Manchester United, winning four titles and the Champions League once.