Damien Duff reveals why he joined Chelsea over United in 2003

Irish footballing royalty, Damien Duff, has spoken about why he didn’t join Manchester United back in 2003.

Duff made the switch from Blackburn Rovers to Chelsea for a fee of around £17 million. From there he won two Premier League titles, went to the Euros with Ireland and a European final with Fulham.

He made the jump from Ewood Park to Stamford Bridge during an interesting time for Chelsea. Between Roman Abramovich and their rising crop of homegrown stars, they were English football’s new dominant force.

Almost Old Trafford bound

But as he noted during a recent podcast appearance it all could’ve been very different, as his heart was actually set on a move to United or Liverpool.

“I’m not sure what my get-out clause was with Blackburn, maybe £15m or £16m. I went for 17-point-something. It was maybe too much for them. 

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“Chelsea was never on my radar. Ideally, it would have been Man U or Liverpool – great clubs with Irish connections.”

Duff went on to explain that he actually met Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of a potential transfer to the Theatre of Dreams.

“I met Alex Ferguson and spoke to him. When you spend time with him and talk to him about football, you want to play for him. I think I just cost too much and they got better wingers than me in the end. 

“We met in the kitman’s house. I think Fergie did all his business in Albert’s house. Albert picked me up at the airport and brought me there. 

“I didn’t say a word for two or three hours, I was still a baby, 21 or 22, I just stared at him. I was probably dribbling as well. Ma made me wear a shirt and tie, as Irish mothers do. I was suited and booted. I looked like a dick, probably. That’s probably why he didn’t sign me. I was just dribbling looking at him.”

Featured image credit: Getty