Graeme Souness reveals how Liverpool missed out on Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel 4 years ago

Graeme Souness reveals how Liverpool missed out on Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel

Graeme Souness has revealed that Liverpool had the chance to sign both Peter Schmeichel and Eric Cantona before the pair joined Manchester United.

Souness told the Sunday Times that Schmeichel held talks with Liverpool and was so eager to complete a move to Anfield that he offered to pay for his travel and accommodation to get the deal over the line. The transfer collapsed because Souness - then Liverpool manager - decided he didn't want a "rookie goalkeeper" as he looked to replace Bruce Grobbelaar with David James.

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He also revealed that he had the opportunity to bring Cantona to Merseyside in 1991 when Liverpool played Auxerre. Again, he rejected the chance to sign him.

 

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"I missed out on two players who went on to become Manchester United legends," Souness explained.

"Ron Yeats, the chief scout then, told me there was a young Danish goalkeeper - Peter Schmeichel - who was a Liverpool fan and willing to pay his own travel and hotel in exchange for some time with us.

"I was trying to ease out Bruce Grobbelaar and that was proving a hassle, plus I had just signed David James, so I thought I could do without a rookie goalkeeper."

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He continued: "Eric Cantona was another I missed out on. We played Auxerre at home and Michel Platini came to see me afterwards. He said he had a player for me, a problem boy but a proper player.

"It was Cantona, but I said the last thing I needed was another problem player. I had 30-pluses I was trying to get out, so I didn't need more hassle. I said I was looking for something else and so it was no thanks."

Liverpool's loss was United's gain. The pair went on to be key players in Sir Alex Ferguson's first title winning sides and set the foundations for United to eventually overtake their rivals' great record of 18 top division league championships.