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Manchester United Legend 'Didn't Appreciate' Sir Alex Ferguson's Brutal Transfer Decision

Adnan Riaz

| Last updated 

Manchester United Legend 'Didn't Appreciate' Sir Alex Ferguson's Brutal Transfer Decision

Manchester United legend Mark Hughes has candidly admitted that he “didn’t appreciate” Sir Alex Ferguson’s ruthless decision to sell him to Chelsea.

The 58-year-old’s first spell at United came to an end in 1986 after he signed for Barcelona in a £2m deal.


Hughes was loaned out to Bayern Munich during his time at Barcelona and would make his return to Old Trafford in 1988, with the Red Devils splashing out a then-club-record fee of £1.8m.

The former United star spent a further seven seasons at Old Trafford before Ferguson decided to sell him to Chelsea in 1995 in a £1m deal.

Legendary former United manager Ferguson had favoured a strike partnership between Andy Cole and Eric Cantona, with Hughes deemed as surplus.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Hughes, who was sold in the same summer as Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis, scored 101 times in 284 appearances across his two spells for United.

The ex-Barcelona player was not happy with Ferguson’s initial decision to sell him to the Blues, but he admitted he “became closer to him” when he became a manager.

“Sir Alex wanted to get good value, take the best years and sell for a profit. From his point of view it was good management,” Hughes told The Daily Mail.

“I didn’t appreciate it at the time but looking back I would have done exactly the same thing.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

“My relationship with Sir Alex as a player was ‘just enough.’ Then as I got older and became a manager I became closer to him and understood the decisions he made because I faced them as well.

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“He was aware of a bid from Chelsea and didn’t try to block it. It was a message for me to move on and that was difficult because I’d spent the majority of my life at United.

“But in fairness to Sir Alex, he sent me a letter a month afterwards thanking me for my efforts at the club and the good times. I still have that letter. I saw him recently at Walter Smith’s memorial and enjoyed his company.”

Hughes went on to play for Southampton, Everton and Blackburn Rovers before hanging up his boots in 2002.

The United legend hasn’t managed a team since he was sacked by Southampton in 2018, with the Saints replacing Hughes with current manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Manchester United, Premier League, England, Football, Sir Alex Ferguson

Adnan Riaz
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