Michael Owen went on to play for Manchester United after leaving Liverpool but claims he was approached by Sir Alex Ferguson long before his 2009 switch from Newcastle
Michael Owen claims he lied to Sir Alex Ferguson about wanting to join Manchester United – claiming he was only interested in playing for the team he used to support, Liverpool.
Owen would of course go on to represent the Red Devils and play under Ferguson, but claims he had no intention of doing so while he was on the books at Liverpool, where he played for eight years.
Owen’s career began on Merseyside, where the youngster captured the attention of the world as an 18-year-old with his performances for Liverpool as well as a virtuoso display for England against Argentina.
Legendary Man United boss Ferguson was keen on signing Owen, according to the man himself, who told Jake Humphrey on BT Sport podcast The Premier League Storybook: “I’ll never forget it, Sir Alex Ferguson, when I was only very young, and he literally looked me in the eye in his office at Old Trafford, again on game day.
“And he just looked at me and said, ‘Do you want to play for Manchester United?” And I was like, ‘yes,’ type of thing. But obviously, you know, deep down I was a Liverpool fan at that time.
“I’d been playing at the club so you know, I basically paid him lip service. Later, obviously, I would go on to play for him, for Manchester United. But of course, at the time, I was just interested in playing for Liverpool.”
Three years after winning the Ballon d’Or at Liverpool in 2001, Owen left the Reds for Real Madrid. He returned to England after a season and signed for Newcastle before finally linking up with Ferguson at Man United.
Brought me in, showed me around the dressing room, and introduced me to all the players. I met George Graham and I went and watched the game in a box. Actually, it was Coventry that won.
I think Mick Quinn scored a hat trick that game. So that was real red carpet treatment. You know, Ian Wright the star of the show came out of the dressing room to meet me, and I would have only been about 12 at the time.
“Glenn Hoddle was another one when I went down to Chelsea. He had me in his office.
“I think Chelsea were playing in Norwich if memory serves me right at Stamford Bridge. And again, he had me in his office, talking to me about how much they wanted to sign me.”