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Gary Neville reveals ’30 second’ chat that convinced him Steven Gerrard would never leave Liverpool for Man United despite Sir Alex Ferguson’s ‘full on assault’


Gary Neville has revealed a 30 second conversation that convinced him Steven Gerrard would never join Manchester United.

Gerrard spent the entirety of his European career with boyhood club Liverpool, joining the academy in 1998, later leaving the club for MLS side LA Galaxy pre-retirement in 2015.

Gerrard started his career in Liverpool’s youth academy in 1989

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Gerrard started his career in Liverpool’s youth academy in 1989

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And the captain lasted all way up until 2015

There was one bridge Gerrard would never cross

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There was one bridge Gerrard would never cross

The current Aston Villa manager was known as a ‘one club man’ despite his brief American excursion, but that didn’t stop rival teams from almost poaching Gerrard, with Chelsea coming the closest in 2005.

Despite narrowly missing out on the Liverpool captain whilst managing the Blues, Jose Mourinho reportedly tried again at Real Madrid and Inter Milan, peaking Gerrard’s interest.

However, there was one club that had no chance at all.

In a conversation with fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, lifelong Manchester United defender Gary Neville recalled the one time he attempted to tap-up Gerrard.

Carragher dropped the question on a surprised Neville

Carragher dropped the question on a surprised Neville

Who felt a bit awkward about trying to steal his best mate from Liverpool

Who felt a bit awkward about trying to steal his best mate from Liverpool

His long-time manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was a huge admirer of the Champions League-winning midfielder, and thought he’d see what Neville could do whilst on international duty with Gerrard.

“Will I get fined by the FA for this, for an illegal approach?” Neville initially joked about tapping up.

“I think it would be something casual, it wouldn’t be like ‘go and poach him’ or anything like that.

Neville was well known to be a teacher’s pet when it came to Fergie

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Neville was well known to be a teacher’s pet when it came to Fergie

“But have a chat with him, see what his plans are, where does he like to eat? What was he like? That type of thing, have a conversation.”

Neville revealed he was part of the plot to tempt all-time Premier League top scorer Alan Shearer to Old Trafford, but was too young to have a big impact.

With the bigger standing in the game later on though, the legendary No.2 tried his hand with some Liverpool-born candidates.

Neville lined up against Gerrard in one of football’s biggest rivalries, but had no luck getting him to switch sides

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Neville lined up against Gerrard in one of football’s biggest rivalries, but had no luck getting him to switch sides

Alan Shearer to Manchester United (1992 and 1996)

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And Neville had just as much like with Newcastle legend Shearer

“I think there were two or three times it happened with England with me, where I spoke to Alan Shearer during Euro 1996,” Neville explained. “I had a conversation with him.

“But I was more junior at that time, so I couldn’t have a serious conversation with him.

“Definitely with Wayne Rooney had a little chat, but just again, he’s a younger player so you can’t put too much pressure on him.

Neville did succeed with Rooney

Neville did succeed with Rooney

“With Stevie, 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, he said: ‘My family and me would never be able to go back to Liverpool ever again.’

Gerrard was short and swift with Neville

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Gerrard was short and swift with Neville

“It was a very short conversation. He was very loyal to Liverpool fans. Not as loyal I think when [Chelsea’s] John Terry went round to his room.

“I think John Terry got around ten minutes out of him, I got probably around 30 seconds.”

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