Newcastle United legend and Premier League all-time top scorer Alan Shearer has confessed that he had decided to join Manchester United back in 1996, only for then-Magpies manager Kevin Keegan to convince him to move to St James' Park instead.


At that time, Shearer had managed to lead Blackburn Rovers to the Premier League title and was an established England international, with both Newcastle and United fighting to win the race for his signature.

Alan Shearer

Obviously, it was ​Newcastle who eventually managed to lure Shearer back to his hometown, but the striker confessed to ​BBC Sport that ​there was a point when he had settled on a move to Old Trafford.


“I sat down with Kevin Keegan and Sir Alex [Ferguson] on the same day,” he explained. “I saw Keegan in the morning and talks had gone really, really well. 


“Then the ​United contingent came in. His first question to me was: ‘Am I seeing you first or am I seeing you second?’ I told him I had seen Kevin in the morning and I won’t tell you his words. He said basically I’ve got no chance, then. He wanted to see me first.

“But I thought the talks went extremely well. I was very impressed with what he had to say. I had to go and make a decision. At one point, I was going to Manchester United. 


"But then, I sat down and I got a call from Kevin who asked to see me a day or two later. And I thought: ‘You know what, I’m going to go back to Newcastle. It was the club I always supported and wanted to play for."


The Magpies landed a then-world record £15m deal for Shearer, while United failed to find an alternative and instead had to make do with a young Norwegian by the name of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who had joined the club earlier that summer.


As you can imagine, Ferguson wasn't best pleased to lose out to rivals Newcastle.

Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Fer

“I thought: ‘I’ve got to ring [Ferguson]," Shearer continued. "I rang him but there was no answer. I thought I couldn’t leave a message. I rang him again but there was still no answer. I left him a message after the third time and no surprise, I never got a call back!


“I’ve got no regrets, I’d do the same again.”


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!