Former Arsenal star reveals United rejection

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Football News

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has admitted he made a mistake signing for Chelsea over Manchester United, after leaving Barcelona 11 years ago.

The Frenchman endured a torrid time at the Nou Camp after he left Highbury, and was offered the opportunity to return to England after only a season in Spain.

Sir Alex Ferguson was desperate to bring the French World Cup winner to Old Trafford, but Claudio Ranieri was also keen on securing a deal to bring Petit to Stamford Bridge.

Petit, in the end, decided to sign for Chelsea owing to family reasons, but realises now that he made the wrong choice not signing for United.

"I did make a wrong choice," Petit told Goals on Sunday.

"I was talking with my wife at that time and she wanted to come back and live in London. When I think about that I think I made a mistake.

"In my heart I wanted to go to Manchester United. I met Sir Alex Ferguson twice at Barcelona and he wanted me to sign for Manchester. I made the wrong decision.

"With my wife we decided to live in London and it was a wrong choice for me because I was a Gunner and the Chelsea fans never forgave me for that."

Petit made over 100 appearances for Arsenal during three seasons with the club, and was prominent figure during the Double winning season of 1997/98.

After spending only one campaign with Barcelona, Petit played for a further three seasons with Chelsea, but his stay in west London was blighted by injury.

He retired shortly after being released by the Blues in the summer of 2004.

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