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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has revealed the extent to which Manchester United icon Sir Alex Ferguson tried to lure him to Old Trafford. In the end, the Geordie opted to head back to the north east, although things may have turned out differently had the Scotsman been more persuasive than his Magpies counterpart, Kevin Keegan.
In the lead up to United’s 1996 interest in Shearer, the striker was scoring at a remarkable rate for Blackburn Rovers.
When Kenny Dalglish led them to a historic league title in 1994/95, Shearer put together his best season at Ewood Park, netting 34 Premier League goals.
The goal-machine built on that with a 31-goal haul the following year, leading Ferguson and Keegan into a transfer standoff.
“I had met Kevin in the morning and then Sir Alex in the afternoon at David Platt’s mother-in-law’s house,” Shearer told Gary Neville on The Overlap.
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“Sir Alex’s words were, ‘Am I seeing you first or second?’. I said I’d met Kevin this morning and he goes, ‘Well that’s me f****d then’.
“At one stage I had made the decision and I was going to go to Man Utd.
“It was a really tough decision. This place [St James’ Park] as you know, I grew up here.
“Every single week I used to watch my hero, Kevin Keegan, and I thought ‘I’ve got to go home’.”
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Upon choosing Newcastle in 1996, it was reportedly the second time Shearer had opted against heading to Old Trafford after they had earlier approached him in 1992.
Neither side can have too many regrets, given that the striker went on to become Newcastle’s record goal-scorer with 206 goals.
Combined with his time at Blackburn, Shearer still holds on to the all-time Premier League record too with an impressive total of 260.
Tottenham star Harry Kane has long been touted as the man to finally challenge that total, although the 28-year-old still has 94 goals left to go.
“His goals-per-game record is fantastic,” Shearer told The Athletic.
“I like the fact he hasn’t had everything his own way in his career and he’s had to go out and put the hard graft in to get where he is now.
“He’s a top player and I love the way he approaches every game.
“Whenever I’ve met him and spoken to him, we’ve had a good laugh about that [the record]. There are a lot of ifs and buts but Harry has got the best chance of doing it.”
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