Ex-Manchester United star Mikael Silvestre has revealed how close he came to moving in the early stages of his career from Inter to Liverpool, claiming that Gerard Houllier had contacted him in person.
With his prime years spent on the books of Sir Alex Ferguson’s United, Silvestre enjoyed a highly productive career spanning two decades. From 1999 to 2008, the former France international racked up 353 appearances for the Red Devils, winning a total of 10 trophies, including four Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Before hanging up his boots in 2014, Silvestre went on to play for Arsenal, Werder Bremen, Portland Timbers, and Chennaiyin FC. Having chosen a different direction, he may have also had a spell at Anfield when he left Inter at the age of 21,.
“Arriving at Inter, Marcello Lippi hired another wing-back, Grigoris Georgatos, who was a little older than me. My playing time was dwindling and I wanted to play. Gerard Houllier was my youth-level coach in France, so we knew each other well and he called me to ask if I wanted to join Liverpool,” Silvestre told FourFourTwo.
The United legend Silvestre went on to explain why he chose to snub Liverpool in favor of joining their arch-rivals. He said: “Alex Ferguson phoned me to register his interest a few days later.”
Silvestre ended up making his Red Devils debut against Liverpool but maintains that when they met on the touchline there was no tension between him and Houllier.
The 42-year-old said: “I recall that I arrived in Manchester on a Thursday and that by Saturday I had already played my first game against Liverpool in Anfield, of all places!”