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Spurs great Hoddle: Man Utd move was very close; Big Ron also wanted Trevor Francis

Tottenham great Glenn Hoddle has revealed he came close to joining Manchester United during his career.

Hoddle, discussing this month's winter transfer window, also admits Brian Clough made an attempt to sign him for Nottingham Forest - calling him directly about a move to the City Ground!

But it was United where Hoddle admits he came closest to joining an English rival to his beloved Spurs. And the former England star revealed Ron Atkinson, who had just taken charge of United at the time in 1981, also revealed plans to sign Trevor Francis, who was then coming to the end of his time at Clough's Forest.

Hoddle said on his podcast, 'The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show': "I had some opportunities (to leave Tottenham for an English rival). I remember, it was very funny, Brian Clough phoning me. He wanted me to go to Forest. That was quite interesting!

"And I remember I met Ron Atkinson when he took over at Manchester United. He wanted to buy me and Trevor Francis at that time when he had just gone from West Brom to United. That was... it was pretty close actually. But I ended up staying at Tottenham."

Hoddle eventually moved to AS Monaco later in his career, where he spent four years, working with Arsene Wenger. But he admits the move to ASM almost didn't happen as he had all but agreed to join PSG, where Gerard Houllier was in charge.

"It was a strange scenario," continued Hoddle. "Gerard Houllier, bless him, he was manager of Paris St Germain. I had met him. I had gone over and looked at schools, houses. I was on my way to Paris to sign for PSG.

"(But) for three weeks the two clubs couldn't agree a fee. Irving Scholar was the chairman at Tottenham and they just couldn't agree a fee for three weeks. And in-between my agent was also Mark Hateley's agent and Mark Hateley had just gone from AC Milan to Monaco. And Arsene Wenger then realised (Hateley's) the agent, Dennis Roach, was my agent and said he'd like to bring Glenn over here.

"I was due to sign for PSG, but in the end I went to Monaco. I met Arsene and was very impressed. In the end it was a gut feeling and felt it was the right place to go."

Hoddle adds he made sure to call Houllier to explain his decision.

"I had to make a tough call to Gerard to explain I was going to go to Monaco. He understood. He took it like a gentleman, but he knew three weeks was too long for this deal not have been done. He understood. It was a difficult phone call, but one I had to make."

With Monaco, Hoddle would become Ligue 1 champion for the 1987/88 season.

Listen to this week's full episode of 'The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show' - a Tribal Football partner - below:

Click here to visit the full archive of 'The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show'.

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Paul Vegas

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