Newcastle United signing rejected Man Utd transfer offer amid Leeds United interest

Jermaine JenasJermaine Jenas
Jermaine Jenas | That Peter Crouch Podcast
Manchester United often got their man under Sir Alex Ferguson but not on this occasion.

Jermaine Jenas admits he vetoed a move to Manchester United back in 2002 after realising he would have no chance of playing regular football at Old Trafford.

Jenas emerged as one of England's most promising young talents after breaking into the first-team at Nottingham Forest around the turn of the century. The midfielder was a regular in the First Division - what is now the Championship - at just 18 and was the subject of several bids in February 2002.

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He eventually joined Newcastle in a £5million deal but Forest also received bids from United and their fierce rivals, Leeds United. At the time, there couldn't have been three better options for the teenager but with such a strong midfield already in place at Old Trafford, a move to Manchester was written off instantly.

“He [Forest manager Paul Hart] said ‘we have had three offers on the table’,” Jenas told That Peter Crouch Podcast. “Sir Alex Ferguson has rang and he’s basically said we’ve bid £3m and not a penny more because it’s an honour to play for the football club.

“David O’Leary has rang from Leeds, they have bid £5m and Newcastle have bid £5m and the car is going to be here in an hour. So I’m in the car from Nottingham to Newcastle and I’m saying to my agent that I want to go to Leeds and I knew Rio [Ferdinand] as I’d bumped into him a couple of times out, as you could imagine!

“Rio was there, Fowler was there, the Champions League stuff was just kicking off at the time. And Paul Hart’s son was my agent, and Paul was at Leeds previously, and said 'you are not going to Leeds'. He said it’s going to fall apart, you’re not going. United was the only one I said no to straight away because I wanted to play. I looked at their midfield and they had [Juan Sebastian] Veron, [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs, Roy Keane and Becks [David Beckham].”

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Jenas eventually joined Newcastle and spent five seasons at St James' Park before earning a move to Tottenham Hotspur, where he remained for eight years. During that time, the midfielder enjoyed loan spells at Aston Villa and back at Forest before finishing his career at Queens Park Rangers.

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