Ferguson nearly became Arsenal boss

ALEX FERGUSON has revealed how he turned down the opportunity to be Arsenal manager just months before taking over at the helm at Manchester United.

The offer came early in 1986 and Ferguson was keen to take Walter Smith to the Gunners with him.

But Scotland’s World Cup campaign in Mexico that year meant the move to Arsenal fell through.

Ferguson made the revelations in last night’s match programme for Rangers’ Premier League clash against Dundee United — Smith’s last match in charge at Ibrox.

Ferguson said: “I was offered the Arsenal job and I wanted to take Walter with me.

“I thought I would sound him out when we were on Scotland duty together. I didn’t know that Walter was going to Rangers at that time.

“I told him that I had been offered the chance to go to Arsenal and I asked him what he thought. He was positive about it, saying they were a big club and that kind of thing.

“So I said to him ‘Do you fancy coming with me?’ Then he dropped the bombshell that he was going to Rangers.

“The thing about the Arsenal offer was that they wanted an answer right away but I couldn’t give them one because I was going to the World Cup in Mexico with Scotland.

“So the Arsenal thing fell by the wayside. Walter went to Rangers and then later that year I went to Manchester United.’’


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