Not only rejected the advances of United once in 1992, but when they came back in for him in 1996, he once again turned his nose up at the proposed move.
The first time an offer came about was when he was a youngster at Southampton, banging goals in for fun, and it was inevitable a bigger club would make an offer. So up stepped Manchester United offering a British record to lure him to Old Trafford, but because they were so confident, they didn’t conclude the deal quick enough, and Blackburn Rovers ended up taking him back up North.
“There was interest from Manchester United, but I was told I had to wait three or four weeks for them to get the money together. I felt if they really wanted me then they would come and get me immediately. I had already spoken to Blackburn and told Kenny Dalglish, Ray Harford and Jack Walker that I would give them an answer in three of four days—and my answer was yes.”
In 1996, it was announced that Shearer who had just won the Golden Boot at Euro 96 and was the Premierships record goal scorer, was to be leaving Blackburn, and there seemed only one place for England’s biggest star to go, and that was England’s biggest club.
United agreed to a world record £15 million fee with Blackburn and so had his hometown club Newcastle United too. After extended talks at Old Trafford, he was all set to join until Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan had a last minute meeting with Alan, and he decided to go home to Newcastle. Manchester United had missed out on him again.
In hindsight, Shearer went on to have a fabulous career at Newcastle breaking all their goal-scoring records, but he still couldn’t add any silverware to his one league medal he won at Blackburn. If he had joined United in 1992, it would have been highly unlikely that the club would have signed Cantona, and if in 1996 United had been successful in bringing him in, then it would be highly unlikely that they would have brought in Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, the rest as they say, is history.