Man Utd rejected chance to sign Zidane to keep Cantona happy

ShareClose Comments
Sir Alex Ferguson was presented with an opportunity to sign the future legend in 1996, but did not want to upset Zidane’s countryman

Zinedine Zidane at Manchester United? It could have happened, according to the club's former chairman Martin Edwards.

The France legend made his mark in club football with the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid, winning two Serie A titles, La Liga and a Champions League crown.

But his storied career could have turned out differently had Sir Alex Ferguson not passed up an opportunity to sign him for fear of upsetting United great Eric Cantona.

In 1996, Edwards claims the Red Devils were presented with an opportunity to sign Zidane, then 24, from Bordeaux.

However, Ferguson did not make the move, as Zidane played in the same position as fellow France international Cantona and feared conflict, if he had pursued a deal.

"Zidane and Eric played in the same position and Alex felt if they brought Zidane in it would have upset Eric,” Edwards told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Unfortunately for United, Cantona retired a year later, leaving Edwards to wonder what could have been.

Article continues below

When asked if, looking back, United could have made room for both, Edwards said: "In hindsight yes, because Eric retired a year later and Zidane was younger so he would have continued it."

Instead of Manchester, Zidane moved to Juventus in 1996 and enjoyed a stellar career in Italy and Spain, which he has now continued with Madrid as their manager, winning a league title, Copa del Rey and two straight UEFA Champions League crowns.

Zizou's Real 7/2 for another CL win

Next article:
Ozil announces international retirement due to 'racism and disrespect'
Next article:
Zola urges fans to give Sarri time to succeed as Chelsea manager
Next article:
Video: Sarri takes charge of Chelsea training in Australia
Next article:
Barcelona to have final say as Mina's £15m Everton transfer nears completion
Next article:
Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Chelsea working on Martial deal

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Show more Accept