Darren Anderton has claimed he missed out on a potential transfer to Manchester United because then Tottenham chairman Alan Sugar would not allow him to leave his mansion unless he signed a new contract. 

Anderton, who joined Spurs from Portsmouth in 1992, spent 12 years in North London while clocking up 299 appearances in the top-flight for the club (Transfermarkt). 

His performances for Spurs placed him in contention for England duty, with one game in particular capturing the eye of then-United-manager Sir Alex Ferguson. 

Anderton scored for the Three Lions in a 3-3 draw with Sweden in 1995 which impressed the Scottish manager, who sought to lure him to Old Trafford. 

Anderton told the Quickly Kevin; Will He Score? podcast: “After that game was when Pally – Gary Pallister – went, ‘Do you fancy coming to play for us?’ as we were all having a game of snooker back at the hotel.

“He just said, ‘Can I give the gaffer your number?’ 

“‘Yeah, why not?’

“It was a little bit daunting to be fair. Though it was more daunting for my brother, who answered the phone.”

Ferguson was then alerted to Anderton having a release clause in his contract, which prompted Spurs chairman Sugar to take action.

The 50-year-old has since revealed that he met with the Spurs chief about the situation, but was made to sign a new contract to remove the clause before leaving his house.

He continued: “The next day I went and saw the chairman Sir Alan Sugar and he didn’t let me leave his house without signing a new contract to get rid of that clause.

“It was a bit panic stations because Jurgen Klinsmann had said he wasn’t going to stay, Gheorgeh Popescu was going to Barcelona and Nicky Barmby wanted to leave.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Sugar clearly didn’t want to let Anderton leave Spurs and wanted to get around the stumbling block of a release clause in his contract. It seems that he was okay with the decision as he reiterated his happiness with being at the club, in spite of his infamous problems with injury. 

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