Former Manchester United star Darren Fletcher says Sir Alex Ferguson went “absolutely mental” at him even before he’d joined the club.
Fletcher was contemplating leaving Old Trafford to join Newcastle. His former boss jumped into an angry rant.
Ferguson was keen to sign the midfielder, who was 15 at the time, but was left concerned when an immediate decision wasn’t made.
Speaking to the Lockdown Tactics podcast, Fletcher said: “I had been going to United from the age of 12. It was a great club and I enjoyed it. But Sir Alex Ferguson was retiring.
“Newcastle at this point were the second-biggest team. Everyone is telling you, ‘look at all of these great Man United midfielders, you’ll never get in the team, Newcastle is closer to home.’
“So, the word gets back to Sir Alex. He phoned the house one night, going absolutely mental. I’m 15, chalk white, and he’s f***ing giving it to me down the phone. My mum sees me and grabs the phone and goes, ‘don’t speak to my son like that ever,’ and slams it down.
“The next minute the phone rings again, it’s Sir Alex saying: ‘really sorry Mrs Fletcher but we really like your son, I’m coming up on the next flight to Edinburgh.’
“My mum is looking around thinking ‘I’ve not done the housework, I’ve got loads of washing,’ so she goes: ‘no you’re not, they’ll come down and see you.’”
Fletcher went on to sign for United following the conversations with Ferguson, enjoying a successful time in the North West of England.
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After making his first team debut in 2003, the former Scotland international won several honours including: five Premier Leagues, a Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
After spells at West Brom, Stoke and elsewhere, the 37-year old finished his playing career.
After retiring from playing, he returned to United and is now technical director. He works alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.