Marcel Desailly has revealed that ahead of joining Chelsea in 1996, he’d agreed a deal with Sir Alex Ferguson to join Manchester United.

He spent six years with Chelsea and was made their captain, winning the FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. In the same time period, United won 4 Premiership titles, the Champions League and 2 FA Cups.

“In 1996, I signed a pre-contract agreement with Manchester United,” he said. “I spoke to Alex Ferguson on the phone. I was free! Bosman had just happened. So I was a free transfer! I won’t go into why it didn’t happen but if I had joined them I would have won several more titles! The challenge at Chelsea was interesting, though. The club was building, looking to go places and needed big-name players. Liverpool had come in for me, too, but I needed to have a French school nearby for my children. So I opted for London for Chelsea, for family reasons and for the quality of life.”

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