SIR Alex Ferguson claims Everton chairman Bill Kenwright enlisted the help of his mother in order to try to keep hold of Wayne Rooney.
Ferguson, Manchester United’s most successful manager, was speaking after star striker Rooney became the club’s record top goalscorer following his stunning last-minute equaliser against Stoke on Saturday.
It was the Scot who brought Rooney to Old Trafford in bumper transfer deal in 2004, as he recalled on the BBC’s Football Daily podcast.
“At the end of the day it came down to price and it was decided when we played Everton at Old Trafford,” Fergie explained.
“We had [Everton chairman] Bill Kenwright in our office, David Moyes in my wee little office downstairs…thrashing out the deal.
“Bill Kenwright then gets on his phone and he hands it to me and says ‘it’s my mother, she wants to talk to you’.
“She said: ‘Don’t you dare steal my boy!’”
Giggling, the 75-year-old continued: “Swear to God! I couldn’t believe it!”
Days later the £25m deal was sealed, making Rooney the most expensive teenager of all time until Lucas Moura’s £28m move to PSG from Sao Paolo in 2012.
Despite his recent well-documented struggles, Rooney’s 250 goals in 546 appearances are sure to have sealed his name in the Red Devils’ history books as arguably the club’s most important player.
But Sir Alex reckons promising youngster Marcus Rashford could one day snatch the record for himself – if he remains at Old Trafford.
“Jose has mentioned Marcus Rashford and there is an opportunity for that young lad, if he stays at United and develops his potential the way that Wayne has,” Sir Alex continued.
“It is possible but it is a very big target to hit.”