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Laurent Blanc regrets not signing for Manchester United sooner

by Harry Henshaw
Laurent Blanc

Former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc has expressed his regret at not signing for the Old Trafford outfit earlier in his playing career.

The centre-back enjoyed an extremely illustrious career, having plied his trade for some of the biggest clubs in the world across the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s.

Before arriving in Manchester, Blanc had already accrued a stacked trophy cabinet that included the World Cup, European Championships, Cup Winners Cup, and Ligue 1 title amongst others.

His two years at United brought further success, as he helped the club regain the Premier League title in 2003 before retiring, having made 75 appearances for the club.

In an interview with Spanish outlet, Panenka, Blanc had the following to say about his time in England:

“I was 36 years old when I arrived in Manchester, and I had a more than done career, but the funny thing is that when I arrived in Barcelona, Sir Alex Ferguson called me. He asked me to sign for United, but I couldn’t go, I had already signed with Barça.

“Five years later, he came back for me and convinced me. He told me: ‘I want you to work with more for at least one year.’

“I have very young defenders, like the Neville brothers, Rio Ferdinand, West Brown… and you have a lot of experience’. It was incredible, and now I regret not having gone to England earlier.”

Blanc had already signed for Barcelona when Sir Alex Ferguson tried to first bring him to Manchester in 1996.

He would then enjoy further spells at French and Italian giants Marseille and Inter Milan before finally signing for Sir Alex in August 2001.

Since retiring Blanc has enjoyed an equally successful career in management, winning league and cup honours with both Bordeaux and PSG.

Sandwiched in between the two was a somewhat disappointing two years in charge of the French national team, and he now finds himself in Qatar managing Al-Rayyan.

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