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Graeme Souness Rejected The Chance To Sign Two Man Utd Legends For Liverpool

By Conor O'Leary
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How different would the last 25 years of English football had been if Alex Ferguson didn't sign Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel for a combined fee of £1.7 million?

As per ESPN, if things had turned out differently, both of those Manchester United legends would have ended up on Merseyside before they ever went near Old Trafford.

In his upcoming book "Men In White Suits", Souness reveals that after he took over the reigning league champions in 1991, a letter came into his chief scout Ron Yeats that read:

I am a Danish goalkeeper who has been a Liverpool supporter all my life. I am willing to pay for my own travel expenses. Can I come to Melwood for a week's trial?

The note was from Peter Schmeichel.

I was trying to edge Bruce [Grobbelaar] out. But it was proving difficult. I thought if another goalkeeper turned up, we were going to have more problems with Bruce. So it never happened.

That was Souness' excuse. Schmeichel signed for Manchester United later that year and went on to be elected 'World's Best Goalkeeper 1992' after his performances that helped Denmark to win Euro 92.


Later that same year Souness' Liverpool were drawn with Auxerre in the second round of the UEFA Cup in the first year that Liverpool were allowed back into European competition following the Heysel disaster of 1985.

After the game, Souness had a visitor to his office:

We played Auxerre in the UEFA Cup. After the game, Michel Platini knocks on my office door and comes in. He said he had a player for me. 'A proper player.' He told me that he was a problem in France but would be perfect for Liverpool.

The player was Eric Cantona. I said: 'Listen, I'm fighting lots of fires here at the moment; I don't need any more trouble.'

A few weeks later, Cantona signed for Leeds United, and was instrumental in delivering them the First Division title in his one season there at the expense of Liverpool. Cantona would go on to score a hat trick against Liverpool in the 1992 Charity Shield that year. Cantona then signed for Manchester United almost a year after Platini offered him to Liverpool.

Needless to say, Souness says he regrets both decisions. It's interesting to think how different the landscape of English football would be if either or both of those players went to Liverpool instead.


Would Liverpool still be on their perch?

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