Gazza laments United snub

20 March 2009 10:04
Paul Gascoigne has admitted his regret at not joining Manchester United as a youngster.

In an exclusive interview to be broadcast on Sky News at 19.30 on Friday, Gazza revealed that he feels he had the quality to become a United legend if he had joined the club in the late 80s.

Recognised as one of the finest talents of his generation, Gascoigne was invited to the United academy in the early stages of his career, before going on to star for Newcastle, Tottenham, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton.

However, following Sir Alex Ferguson's recent revelation that missing out on the Geordie star was his biggest managerial disappointment, Gascoigne has moved to express his own regret at opting out of a transfer to Old Trafford.

"Maybe if I had stayed at Man United I might have still been there," Gascoigne told Sky News.

"I don't know, you just look at these players and the squad of young kids that play, young Rooney that's there, the Neville brothers and Becks, the way he just brought them on and there are so many.

"I got invited to the academy and it is a magnificent place and you can see the way he treats his players, he treats them with respect but he also makes men out of boys."

No second chanceAfter spurning Ferguson, Gascoigne soon shot to international fame at the World Cup in 1990, but it was a long time before another slim chance to join United arose.

"It took me six years to get back talking to Sir Alex, I called him from Lazio and asked him would he sign me," Gascoigne added.

"He was with Eric Cantona and he said he would see what Cantona was going to do but I think everyone knows if you do something to Sir Alex Ferguson the way I did you don't get a second chance."

Strong againFollowing his retirement, Gascoigne has suffered a well-publicised series of problems with alcoholism, health issues and legal wranglings, but the 41-year-old now hopes that the future will bring a successful return to the game as a coach.

He added: "In time I would love to manage Newcastle but you have got to take your badges, you have got to be strong. I am feeling really strong now."

Source: SKY_Sports