Rio Ferdinand has revealed he came pretty close to signing for Chelsea during his playing career, with the former England captain explaining exactly why he ended up snubbing a move to Stamford Bridge.
Having won the Premier League a whopping six times, as well as playing a crucial part in the club’s Champions League triumph in 2008, Ferdinand is rightly regarded as a modern-day legend at his former side Manchester United, but it seems his career could’ve gone in a very different direction indeed.
Back in the year 2000, Ferdinand was a bright-eyed and inexperienced 22-year-old learning his trade at West Ham, but his outstanding potential had been spotted by several other Premier League clubs.
Speaking via The Players’ Tribune, the 40-year-old BT Sport pundit has revealed Chelsea were chasing his signature that summer, before he eventually joined Leeds United in a record-breaking deal.
In a fictional letter to his younger self, Ferdinand explains: “Playing for Leeds will be the best decision you’ll ever make.
“You get a call from Chelsea showing real interest, you need to do something that’s probably going to sound crazy.
“You need to get out of London. And you need to sign with Leeds.
“I know. But right now, it’s not about money or trophies. It’s not about clubs and status. It’s about getting out of London. Detaching yourself from it all.
“Going somewhere where you can just concentrate on being a footballer. Going somewhere that isn’t London. It’s about truly becoming a professional. And at Leeds, mate, you will.”
Of course, Ferdinand would’ve arrived at Chelsea before Roman Abramovich rolled into town with his transfer warchest and transformed the Blues into European and domestic titans, but just imagine how strong they’d have been if they’d managed to nab Ferdinand too.
A defensive bedrock of Terry and Ferdinand? Not bad, eh?
What do you make of his comments?