Rio Ferdinand has revealed Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and AS Roma were all interested in signing him before he moved to Manchester United. The defender made the switch to Old Trafford from Leeds United in 2002, as he was confident of winning trophies under Sir Alex Ferguson's guidance.
"Of course, yeah," Ferdinand told The Telegraph when asked if it would have been a tough decision to join United.
"When Manchester United came in for me, there were other clubs – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Roma, Chelsea – that potentially wanted me. But my whole thinking was: 'I want trophies.' If I'm looking at it now and all those clubs come in for me now, I'm thinking, 'Who's got a better chance of giving me a trophy'.
Ferdinand also criticised Louis van Gaal for changing the style of play at United. The 36 year old admitted that he would not have considered joining the 20-time English champions if he was a youngster today as he feels his former club are not in a position to challenge for silverware. He also ruled out the Red Devils' chances of winning the title this season.
"Is it Man United? Would you sit there and say Man United have got the best chance of winning me silverware as a player? That's the question you've got to ask yourself. I don't think Man United are going to win the league this year."
The former England international was allowed to leave Red Devils in the summer of 2014 and joined Queens Park Rangers. He retired from professional football a year later.
Ferdinand left United as a free agent just before Van Gaal took charge at Old Trafford. He expressed his disappointment that he was not allowed to end his career with the Premier League giants.
"I was disappointed that I wasn't allowed to stay. Speaking to the lads now, they say it's a great education. It's different to what they've ever know. Everything's changing other than the groundsman and the chef," the Old Trafford favourite explained.
"I was talking to Nemanja Vidic and we were both saying the change is unreal in terms of the personnel and the transfer policy. We were saying, 'If they'd spent £50 million when we were there, we'd have won how much more?'"