“He would have taken us to different levels.”
Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Alex Ferguson asked him to scope out the possibility of Manchester United signing Frank Lampard in the early 2000s.
Shortly after Ferdinand arrived at Old Trafford, Ferguson was eager to strengthen his side’s midfield and enlisted the help of Ferdinand to reach out to former West Ham teammate, Lampard, about a potential transfer.
Lampard had already made the move to Chelsea and was making a name for himself as one of the Premier League’s most creative midfielders and he let Ferdinand know that he had no interest in leaving Stamford Bridge.
Speaking on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show, Ferdinand said: “There was a time when I remember Sir Alex Ferguson asked me, ‘Do you think it’s possible to try to get Frank Lampard?’
“I might have been at United for a year or two and Lamps might have been coming up for contract renewal when he [Ferguson] asked me once in the hallway, ‘Do you reckon we’d be able to get him?’ I said, ‘I’ll talk to him. I’ll ask him.’
“I think I asked Lamps and he was like, ‘I’m happy at Chelsea!’ and he stayed there.
“He would have been one of the players who, if we would have gotten him, he would have taken us to different levels because you’re guaranteeing 20 goals with Frank and a big number of assists every year. And his attitude was great!”
Alex Ferguson asked Rio Ferdinand to put feelers out for Frank Lampard
Lampard ended up establishing himself as one of England’s greatest-ever midfield players and finished his Chelsea career as the London club’s top goalscorer of all time.
Towards the end of Ferguson’s time in charge of United, the legendary Scot expressed regret about never being able to secure a deal for Lampard.
“I don’t think a midfield player will be able to do that figure again. It’s quite phenomenal,” Ferguson said of Lampard in 2013.
“Like Bryan Robson, he has had a great knack of timing his runs into the box at the right time. John Wark was another one at Ipswich.
“The other things is I can’t remember Lampard ever being injured. When he’s not been playing it’s because they thought he was past it.
“The guy has had a great career. I must say we looked at him when he was at West Ham as a young player and I maybe regret not having done it.
“Where else could I get 200 goals?”