Former Super Eagles winger, Tijani Babangida has opened up on one of the toughest moments of his footballing career, saying that he still remains in the dark how he failed to join Manchester United despite strong interest from then manager Alex Ferguson, AOIFootball.com reports.
Speaking exclusively to AOIFootball.com, the wing wizard as he was fondly called, stated that the club twice came for his services following the departure of Andrei Kanchelskis but he somehow remained with Roda before later making a move to Ajax Amsterdam.
“I was very close to joining Manchester United when Kanchelskis was leaving the club. They wanted a winger and Alex Ferguson was at the club like three times because then they normally informed us when interest comes from a big club.
“But somehow along the line I really don’t know what happened as the deal failed to materialize,” Babangida revealed.
The Atlanta 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, however, left Roda 12 months after to join another Dutch club Ajax after a long transfer battle and United turning to David Beckham who was recalled to the first team after his loan stint with Preston North End.
Babangida did, however, become an instant hit at Ajax under Louis Van Gal who brought him in as a direct replacement for fellow countryman Finidi George with the pacy winger going on to win one league title and two KNVB Cups.
He then moved to Gençlerbirligi on loan in 2001 where he won the Turkish Cup before further loan spells at Vitesse Arnhem and Al-Ittihad and then hanging his boots in 2004 after a one year spell with Chinese side Changchun Yatai.