Ex-PL boss recalls Man United ‘laughing’ at transfer proposal

Chris Coleman remembers trying to sign Nemanja Vidic for Fulham before he joined Manchester United.

Vidic joined United in January 2006 and, after a brief period of struggle, managed to establish himself in the first team.

The centre-half, 24 when he moved to the Premier League, won five Premier League titles and one Champions League in eight years at Old Trafford.

Vidic himself recalls turning down the chance to join Liverpool at the time, but former Fulham manager Coleman says he was also interested.

“Vidic. I’d spoken to the agent and Mohamed Al Fayed was on board,” he told The Athletic.

“He was sensational, only young but already a man. I knew Jim Lawlor, United’s chief scout, because we’d done our Pro Licence together out of Belfast. He’s a top boy.

“I said to him, ‘You can’t take him, he’s not ready for you, let him come to me for a few years, do well, then you can take him.’

“He was laughing. ‘No we’re taking him now.’”

Coleman recalls another piece of business involving United, and how little of the proceeds he actually saw.

“We sold Saha for £13million and I got 500 grand to reinvest. The rest of it went on the Cottage, because it was deemed not fit for Premier League football. We were playing at QPR, Loftus Road.”

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