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Aussie great Mark Viduka lifts lid on rejecting Man Utd

Aussie great Mark Viduka has lifted the lid on almost joining Manchester United.

Viduka, then of Leeds United, was scheduled to meet with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in Manchester.

And Elton almost let slip to the watching world that he was considering a move to his side's fierce rivals.

"I was in Manchester and my agent at the time also had a lot to do with Elton John," Viduka told ESPN.

"He said stay for the night and come to the show, he had backstage passes and I'd get the chance to meet the man for myself. It was an offer I couldn't refuse."

Viduka said nerves made him tell the singer about his Ferguson talks - and he almost had cause to regret spilling the beans.

"So I'm there with Jacob Burns, my Leeds teammate and fellow Aussie, as we got ushered into his dressing room," said Viduka. "As we enter Elton swings are on a swivel chair and says: 'Mark Viduka, you're from Melbourne - I love that place!'

"I was nervous, so I babbled on about my meeting with the Red Devils that day and a possible move.

"Instead of going to our seats to watch the concert, Elton gets us to watch it at the side of the stage. About three songs in he says: 'I want to dedicate this next one to my good friend Mark who is in Manchester today to make a big decision.'

"I'm thinking: 'S***, please don't say any more!'

"Thank God he didn't. I didn't sign for Man United - I think I loved living in Leeds too much at the time."

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Paul Vegas

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