Manchester United goalkeeping legend Edwin van der Sar has revealed that he almost signed for Liverpool under Gerard Houlier. The Dutchman said he almost moved to Anfield back in 1999. He was on the radar of most top sides following his success at Ajax. He spent nine successful years at the Netherlands top club, winning the UEFA Cup and the Champions League title in 1991 and 1995.
Houlier really wanted Van der Sar at the Merseyside that summer of 1999. The tall and lanky shot stopper was even shown around the club ahead of a likely transfer from the Eredivisie to the Premier League. While there were rumours that the deal was one waiting to happen, the keeper changed his mind as he agreed to a move to Juventus.
“I thought about it, but when Juventus came to the table I came to the conclusion that it would be a bigger challenge to play in Italy,” Van der Sar said.
The retired keeper turn club executive played two years in the Serie A before his switch to Fulham. From there, the Dutch soccer legend moved to Manchester United where he played for six successful years. He won four league titles and one Champions League in 2008 all under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Houlier had to turn to Sander Westerveld when Van der Sar left them hanging. The keeper was quite successful at Anfield, helping them to titles like the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup. He later moved on to Real Sociedad following the arrival of Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland.