Emmanuel Petit says he made a mistake joining Chelsea instead of signing for Manchester United when he left Barcelona in 2001.
Petit moved to Spain from Arsenal the season before for £7 million immediately following three highly successful campaigns at Highbury.
The Frenchman quickly became a cult hero at Arsenal, winning a league and cup double during his debut season.
He remained at Camp Nou for just one year having made 38 appearances and scoring a single goal.
The World Cup winner was soon linked with a move back to England with United, Chelsea and Arsenal all interested.
“I had many clubs interested in taking me back to England [in 2001],” Petit informed FourFourTwo. “Arsenal approached me but so did Manchester United.”
Petit would eventually choose to reject both his former club and United, instead signing for Chelsea in a deal worth £7.5 million.
But it is a choice that the French international now insists he regrets.
“I should have gone to Manchester United, because Sir Alex Ferguson called me twice.” Petit explains. “We had a very good conversation and it was tempting, but once again I listened to my wife.”
Petit reveals that his partner wanted to return to London and didn’t want to live in Manchester.
Both the Red Devils and Arsenal would find great success in the seasons that followed his three-year stay at Stamford Bridge.
Between them, the Gunners and United claimed three League titles and a trio of FA Cups with Arsenal’s Invincibles also going an entire Premier League campaign unbeaten.
In contrast, Petit failed to add any further silverware to his collection before eventually retiring in 2004.
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