Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has revealed he had the option to join Everton when he decided to come out of retirement just a few months after hanging up his boots in 2011, before eventually returning to Old Trafford instead.
Scholes originally called time on his career at the age of 36 in the summer of 2011 following United’s record breaking 19th league title. But when he decided he wasn’t ready to finish he didn’t actually expect that Sir Alex Ferguson would want him back and was weighing up other options.
It was always the plan that Scholes would stay on to help coach United’s reserve team after a summer break, but it was when he started that he realised he was still fit enough to keep going. He made a shock return in a Manchester derby in January 2012, playing in boots he’d bought from a local shop because he no longer had a sponsorship deal, and carried on playing for 18 months.
Yet before any of that remarkable story unfolded, the question over whether there would even be a place for him back at United was on his mind, forcing Scholes to consider the possibility that he would be playing for someone else – because he decided the comeback was happening regardless.
“I came back in September with Warren Joyce and the Under-23s and I was training every day. I felt as fit as I’d probably ever had done after having four months off – it was just the break I needed. I said to Joyce that I wanted to play again – I just wanted to play,” Scholes explained to DAZN
“Where it was, I didn’t care. I didn’t expect United to want me back. I spoke to Phil Neville and he said, ‘Come and play for Everton’. I’ve never really wanted to play for anyone else or be involved with any other club, but if that was the only option I had then I might have done it, I don’t know.”
Scholes previously also spoke in 2018 about his comeback and specifically his concerns over what the reaction from Ferguson and the United coaching staff would be.
“I was nervous about doing it, because I thought, ‘What are they going to say? What if he says no?’” Scholes said on BT Sport.
“But I’d made up my mind and would have gone on to play for somebody else. I went to see Mick [Phelan] and Mick thought it was a great idea. But it’s alright Mick thinking it’s a great idea, but does the manager think it’s a great idea?
“Still nervous the next day, I knocked on [Ferguson’s] door and he said ‘great’ straight away. ‘Let me ring [chief executive] David Gill and we’ll sort your contract out.’”
Source : 90min