Fabio Capello was ‘really close’ to joining Manchester United in 2002.
Ahead of the 2001/2002 season, Sir Alex Ferguson announced he intended to quit Old Trafford and retire from management. “I will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season and that is it,” Ferguson said.
In February 2002, though, Ferguson had a dramatic change of heart, announcing that he would instead remain in the dugout and the rest was history, with the former United boss continuing in his role for a further trophy-laden 11 years.
It’s hard to imagine what would have happened to the Reds had the legendary Scot exited that summer – would they have enjoyed the same success? Who would have replaced him as manager?
Former England manager Fabio Capello has now revealed the answer to one of those questions, explaining that he was close to joining United after speaking to club officials over potentially replacing Ferguson.
“It was really close – that is the truth,” Capello told FourFourTwo magazine. “I can’t deny that I would have loved to train Manchester United.
“After winning Serie A with Roma in 2001, I spoke to representatives who came to visit me in Rome, but we couldn’t sign anything because Sir Alex decided not to retire in the end!
“He phoned me a few days later to apologise because his wife was trying to convince him to leave, but it was a friendly conversation and I told him that nothing was wrong.”