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Few players can say they played for both Manchester United and Liverpool, but Paul Ince can.

The former England midfielder was part of Manchester United‘s early Premier League dominance in the 1990s before being sold to Inter in 1995 at a time when Serie A had the best players in the world.

I left Man United for Europe then could’ve joined Chelsea, but I chose Liverpool transfer instead

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Ince (right) won two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one League Cup and two Community Shields with legends including Eric CantonaCredit: Getty

Roberto Baggio, Ronaldo and Paolo Maldini were in their primes and Ince held his own alongside them all.

However, two years after moving to Italy, he was heading back to England with his young family and several clubs were knocking on the door – including Chelsea – but it was Liverpool – United’s most bitter rivals – where Ince ended up.

“What people don’t know is that United had first-offer on me,” Ince told talkSPORT Drive when asked why it was Liverpool he joined in 1997. “They could have taken me back if they wanted to and they didn’t.

“I would have never gone from Manchester United to Liverpool or Liverpool to Manchester United because I know you just don’t do that because of the rivalry but I came from Inter Milan, I went away for two years and came back.

“I love the north west of England. I knew all the players at Liverpool, Jamie Redknapp, David James, Robbie Fowler where I was with England, it was an easy fit.

“I also felt the Liverpool fans would accept me, which they did, they were unbelievable.

“My job is to play football and support my family. That is what I am going to do.

“If that means playing for Liverpool for two years, that is what I will do.”

Ince shocked many when he chose to join United's rivals Liverpool in 1997

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Ince shocked many when he chose to join United’s rivals Liverpool in 1997Credit: Getty
Ince was making his return to England after two years with Inter

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Ince was making his return to England after two years with Inter

London-born Ince started at West Ham before moving to United in 1989 but he was an adopted northerner, which meant ‘home’ was actually in the north west.

“I could have gone Chelsea but I felt comfortable in the north west, I felt Liverpool had a chance of winning the Premier League.

Paul Ince reveals he failed his Manchester United medical and had to go back to angry West Ham fans

“They just didn’t have that mental side that Man United had.

“I saw an avenue where if I could give them a bit of experience from Manchester over six years of what it takes to win a title and how you conduct yourself, train properly, we might have a chance.”

Ince won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups during his six years at United and is held in the highest esteemed by their fans, as well as his midfield partner Roy Keane.

While he did not win a trophy at Liverpool, he is still fondly remembered by those at Anfield.

After falling out with manager Gerard Houllier, Ince made the switch to Middlesbrough for two years before another move to Wolves, where he became a key player.

With short spells at Swindon, he retired from playing in 2007 after a spell at Macclesfield and later managed the club as well as spells in the dugout at Reading, MK Dons and Blackburn.



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