Gary Neville’s attempt to woo Steven Gerrard.
Gary Neville has been reflecting on an unsuccessful attempt to convince Steven Gerrard to sign for Manchester United, when the pair were England teammates.
The relationship each man has with the Old Trafford outfit couldn’t be more different, with Neville remembered as a ‘local boy done good,’ who helped United to multiple trophies under the management of Alex Ferguson.
Steven Gerrard and Man United.
On the other hand, Gerrard is a hated figure among the club’s supporters due to his long-serving stint as Liverpool captain making him synonymous with their most-hated rivals.
For this reason, it’s unsurprising that Gerrard turned down Neville’s advances, when the former full-back suggested he make the move up the M62 to join Ferguson’s team.
In a conversation released by Sky Sports on Tuesday, Neville revealed that Ferguson encouraged him to sound international teammates out during gatherings with England.
This story about the time @GNev2 tried to convince Steven Gerrard to sign for Man Utd is absolute gold ?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 25, 2022
“It was a short conversation.”
“I think it would be something casual, it wouldn’t be like ‘go and poach him’ or anything like that but have a chat and see what his plans are.
“Where does he like to eat, that type of thing. There were two or three times it happened with England with me, where I spoke to Alan Shearer during Euro 96, I had a conversation with him. I was more junior at that time so couldn’t have a serious conversation with him.
“Definitely, with Wayne Rooney, I had a little chat but again, he was a younger player so you can’t put too much pressure on.
“With Stevie (Gerrard), it was a full on assault, let’s get him out of there! I want him out of there. To be fair, Stevie’s answer was ‘my family and me would never be able to go back to Liverpool ever again.’ It was a very short conversation.”
Gary Neville on Steven Gerrard.
Neville goes on to assure Liverpool fans that Gerrard was very loyal, although the midfielder did apparently show more interest in chatting with Chelsea captain John Terry about his future.
“I think John got about 10 minutes out of him, I got about 30 seconds.”
It’s well documented that Gerrard mulled over a move to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team after winning the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, and Reds fans should probably be grateful that Terry’s powers of persuasion weren’t much better than Neville’s.
In fairness to Neville, Rooney eventually joined United in 2004 and went on to become the club’s highest-ever goalscorer, but it’s not clear if the defender had much to do with it.
Gerrard is now manager of Aston Villa and if the reception he recently received at Old Trafford is anything to go by, his relationship with the Man United supporters hasn’t thawed one bit.
The full conversation between Neville and Carragher on the subject, and on transfers as a whole, can be found here.