Sir Alex: Rooney not world class, I wanted to sign Mario Balotelli

Sir Alex Ferguson

During the launch of his new book, Sir Alex has lifted the lid on his relationship with Wayne Rooney and has also spoken about the managerial situation at Manchester United after his departure.

Sir Alex stated that he was keen on Pep Guardiola to manage Manchester United and that he had asked the former Barcelona manager to keep him informed about his future. But Guardiola never expressed an interest in the United job and took the Bayern job.

“I had dinner with Pep Guardiola in New York in 2012, but couldn’t make him any direct proposal because retirement was not on my agenda at that point,” Ferguson said.

“He had already won an enviable number of trophies with Barcelona… and I admired him greatly. I asked Pep to phone me before he accepted an offer from another club, but he didn’t and wound up joining Bayern Munich in July 2013.”

Fergie reflected on his clash with Wayne Rooney when the player demanded to be paid twice as much as him.

“I told them I did not think it fair that Rooney should earn twice what I made and [the joint-chairman] Joel Glazer immediately said: ‘I totally agree with you but what should we do?’

“It was simple. We just agreed that no player should be paid more than me. We agreed in less time than it takes to read the previous sentence”,  he said.

Furthermore, Fergie also went on to claim that he only had four world class players during his time at Manchester United – Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs.

United fans will be surprised with his decision to exclude the likes of Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Ferdinand, Vidic and most importantly Roy Keane.

Keane was a crucial presence under Fergie and was one of his best players. Also, the United manager was always vocal about Keane before their famous bust-up. It seems Ferguson has not moved on.

Meanwhile, Fergie also revealed that he looked into signing the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker, Mario Balotelli, but opted against it due to his reputation.

‘In 2010 I briefly flirted with the idea of signing Mario Balotelli, the talented but controversial Italian striker,’ wrote Ferguson in his new book ‘Leading’.

‘I did my homework on him, speaking to a few Italian contacts, but the feedback I got confirmed it was too big a risk.

‘I don’t know whether this sort of candid professional courtesy exists in other fields, but for me it was a Godsend.’


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