Graeme Souness recalls turning down chance to sign Eric Cantona for Liverpool

Lfc Rumour (Mark Baldwin)
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Eric Cantona’s career could have been very different (Picture: Getty Images)



Graeme Souness had the chance to sign Eric Cantona while he was Liverpool manager but turned down the Frenchman as he was a ‘problem boy’ and the rest is history.



Souness had been a legendary player at Anfield and returned to take charge of the team in 1991.



He would remain manager until 1994 and remembers turning down a Frenchman he knew little about at the time, but would find out all about later.



The Scot recalls legend of French football Michel Platini approaching him with a proposition, but he wasn’t interested.



‘I’ll tell you a story about Eric Cantona. I’m manager of Liverpool and we play Auxerre in the UEFA Cup,’ Souness told talkSPORT.



‘We lost 2-0 there and we came back and beat them 3-0. I was in my office and a guy called Terry Littlewood, who was in charge of security from my office, he controlled the corridor.



‘He knocked on my door and said someone wants to come and see you. I said, “Who is it?” He said, “it’s Michel Platini”. So he came in and I’ve only ever played against him a few times and only ever tried to kick him.

Graeme Souness was Liverpool boss from 1991-94 (Picture: Getty Images)



‘So I wasn’t exactly his mate but he gave me a hug, kissed me on both cheeks, and ends up saying, ‘I’ve got a player for you, he is perfect for you. He’s a problem boy in France but he’d be great for your football club’.



‘Eric Cantona. I’d never heard of him, and I said, ‘look, I am fighting fires here at the moment, I believe he’s a proper player but right now I don’t need any more problem boys’.



‘So he could have been a Liverpool player.’



Cantona did move to England with Leeds United in 1992 and signed for Manchester United later that year.



There he would go on to score 82 goals in 185 games for the Red Devils, winning four Premier League titles and two FA Cups.





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