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Stam: I turned down Sir Alex before eventually joining Man Utd

Manchester United hero Jaap Stam admits he initially rejected Sir Alex Ferguson's attempts to sign him.

Writing for manutd.com, Stam declared: "The season before I joined, my agent phoned me and told me that United were showing some interest to get me over to England.

"At the time, like everybody probably knows, I didn't feel I was ready yet to sign, to make that step up. First I wanted to establish myself in Holland and at PSV and become an international. Hopefully after that I could think about going abroad to the UK, to United.

"The first time around, we said we were happy to wait. PSV gave me a new contract over there, but sometimes things can go very quickly in football. Six months later, I told the club that I wanted to go because United were still following me and they were still in contact with my agent. Now I felt that I was ready to make the step.

"I've always been a fan of English football and especially United. Everybody knows United in Holland, so it's huge here. To get the opportunity to play for that team, you want to grab it with both hands and take that opportunity because also in football you don't always get what you want.

"You can be a fan of a club but it's never a certainty that that club wants to sign you. Sometimes you need a bit of luck as well, and that was the case for myself. I was delighted that they had come in for me again."

About the author

Paul Vegas

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