Former Bayern Munich and Liverpool defender Markus Babbel has admitted he was glad he moved to Anfield after coming close to joining Manchester United prior to his move to Merseyside.
The German was a part of Liverpool’s Treble-winning side in 2001 after signing from Bayern a year earlier. Babbel knew all about the quality of United having lost to them in the Champions League final with the Bavarians in 1999, but he has no regrets about choosing Liverpool over United.
“(I was) very close. At this time, it was a record fee, nobody had ever been signed for that fee before,” he said, speaking to Bet365. “It was 40 million German Marks at the time.
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“I was talking to United, but my agent said to me, ‘Listen Markus, there is something wrong. They are willing to pay this much on your transfer fee, but your salary is okay, nothing more. With this money on the transfer fee, they should be paying a lot higher wages’.
“I said, ‘Okay, I don’t have to leave if it’s not right, I’m happy to stay at Bayern Munich’. It’s a fantastic club and afterwards, with hindsight, I’m so happy it didn’t happen. They wanted to sign me as a centre back, but I wasn’t the best at centre back!
“In Germany, I always played with three at the back, so it was a different game for me: three versus two centre-backs. The right side was the perfect position for me in that United back four, but they had Gary Neville, one of the greatest right-backs at the time. I’m so glad I listened to my agent and waited to go to Liverpool.”