CRAIG Bellamy has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to take him to Manchester United from Newcastle United in 2002.
The former Welsh striker, who played for Newcastle between 2001 and 2005, was one of the brightest prospects in the country after his impressive first season on Tyneside.
And he claims Ferguson sounded out his agent about a move to Old Trafford, but Bellamy did not consider it because of a knee injury.
Bellamy, who retired last summer after a spell at hometown club Cardiff City, told the Daily Mail: “Fergie met with my agent in 2002 and said: ‘Can you get him out of Newcastle?’”
When asked why the move never materialised, Bellamy added: “The honest truth is my knee. I had just had an operation.
“I knew that if I went to Man United, I would have to hit the ground running – and with my knee that would have been impossible.
“I did think that maybe I should just go and deal with it then. Just get there... but I would have got caught out at United, and that would have been terrible.”
Bellamy also claims a Premier League club tried to tempt him out of retirement earlier this season.
He said: “I said it wasn’t for me. So then he said I could play for 10 minutes here and there. But I believe that once you retire you have to stick to that.
“I can’t tell you which club it was. That wouldn’t be fair. But they were serious. There was not a bit of me that was tempted. That part of my life is over.”