Alessandro Del Piero has stated that he rejected Manchester United on two ocassions during his playing career.
Sir Alex Ferguson, in fact, revealed this courtship of Juventus legend Del Piero in 2019, which first began after a Champions League fixture in 1996.
Ferguson alleged that Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs pleaded with their manager to sign Del Piero.
Having been rejected in the 90s and again in 2006 after the World Cup, Ferguson said in a resigned manner:
“When someone asks me what player I always wanted to train, but never got the chance, I always say: Alessandro Del Piero.”
Del Piero was contacted by United when Juventus were demoted to Serie B due to the match-fixing scandal.
The Italian attacker said at the time:
“Manchester United representatives contacted me in August.
“At first I was flattered, but I never really thought of leaving Juventus.
“I’ve been playing 13 years in this club and I want to finish my career here. I’m sure Alex Ferguson understood my decision.”
He has now been asked about the historical links with United again by Sky Sport Italia.
Del Piero said:
“Did Alex Ferguson want to take me to United? Yes he did. I can confirm that. When did he try? Before 2000 – but actually even after as well. But don’t let me say any more than that or else…”
Del Piero scored 32 and 23 goals in the seasons after he was approached by Ferguson and United (1997/98 and 2006/07, respectively).
He scored two goals in three appearances against United but missed the 1999 Champions League semi-final clashes due to a cruciate ligament rupture.