PAUL GASCOIGNE has lifted the lid on the reason why he decided against joining Manchester United in 1988.

The 54-year-old eventually signed for Tottenham from Newcastle, despite giving Sir Alex Ferguson his word that he would ply his trade at Old Trafford.


And Gasgoigne has revealed he rejected the Red Devils as he didn't believe he would force Bryan Robson and Neil Webb out of the starting XI.

Speaking to Robson in an interview to promote a new film celebrating the United legend's career, the former Lazio man stated he wasn't sure whether he would feature regularly under Fergie.

He told United's website: "There was the Gaffer [Robson] and Neil Webb, always together [on England duty].

"I'm thinking – and I probably shouldn't say this, because he'll [Sir Alex Ferguson] probably be watching – but I thought: 'I'm never going to get a game here'.

"And then Neil Webb did his ankle. He got taken off and I got the chance to play with the Gaffer [Robson] in midfield [for England], which, for me, was probably one of the best feelings ever.

“I think that's one of the reasons I didn't join Man United.

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“Because it was just Neil Webb and the Gaffer, constantly [for England] – and Neil Webb obviously played for Man United – so I thought: maybe I'll not get a game. That was one of the reasons.”

Ferguson recently declared that Gascoigne is the one signing he has always regretted missing out on.

He said: "You have to say, there's only one that always comes to my mind and that's Gascoigne.

"He was absolutely fantastic. I think if we'd have got him, he would have had a great career, I really do.

"I'm not saying he didn't have a good career but he would have had a better career with us.

“We had Geordies in our squad like Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce plus Bobby Charlton.

"Sir Bobby would have been a fantastic mentor to him because he's such a fantastic man and even Gary Pallister, although he was from Middlesbrough and I know they don't count that as a Geordie, but someone who understands the culture like Gary would.

"He promised to sign for us and I went on holiday. I got a phone call from the front desk from Martin Edwards saying he'd signed for Tottenham.

"He signed for Tottenham because they bought his mother a house for £80,000 and, dearie me, I couldn't believe it, you know. He was a fantastic player."

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