Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United were “ready to make a bid” for Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson but his medical department raised doubts over his running style.
Henderson signed for Liverpool from Sunderland in 2011 for a fee understood to be around £20m and is now the current captain under Jurgen Klopp.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Henderson at Anfield – with Brendan Rodgers almost selling him to Fulham – but he has gone on to win the Champions League and Premier League in recent seasons.
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And Ferguson has revealed how he was keen to sign Henderson when he was at Sunderland, only for his medical staff to warn him off a potential transfer.
“We were ready to make a bid for Jordan Henderson at Sunderland,” Ferguson said on ‘A Team Talk With Legends’. “I spoke to Steve Bruce and he loved the guy.
“And then our medical department said they were not happy with his running style – he could be the type to have injuries. I must say it was one of my bits of management to make sure the player is always available.
“If you sign a player and he is not available for you, it is a waste of time so that is the point I have to make about Jordan. We loved him as a player and he has proved that now, he has been fantastic and all the stories I am being told, it tells me I missed out on a really good person.”
Ferguson spoke about Henderson’s running style in his 2013 autobiography and the Liverpool captain responded in 2014 by saying: “What was written in the book never bothered me. To be honest, I looked upon it as a compliment that I got a mention. The fact Alex Ferguson was watching me at some stage must have meant I was doing something right.
“I was never aware of any interest from United and I’m happy with how things worked out. I’m enjoying my football and we’re progressing well as a team. I never felt as if I had a point to prove really – except maybe to myself and to Liverpool Football Club in terms of improving as a player.”