Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand revealed to Everton star Ben Godfrey how he tried to get the Red Devils to sign the young defender.
The 23-year-old was a deadline-day signing for the Toffees, helping them sit three points off a European spot under Carlo Ancelotti.
Becoming a regular at left-back and centre-back, the England U21 international has earned plaudits for his performances.
Godfrey’s rise with Everton comes after five seasons with Norwich, playing regularly in the Premier League during the 2019/20 season.
And United’s Champions League-winning former defender has revealed he was so impressed with the 23-year-old that he put in a good word at Carrington to try and force a transfer.
Speaking on YouTube channel Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE , the 42-year-old said: “Anyone had a chance to sign him because Norwich were going to let him go.
“Listen, I told you before I’d spoken to various people at different clubs, United being one of them as well.
“They could’ve had Ben when he was about 12 or 15 mil, when he just went to Norwich. He’d been there about half a season or a season.
“But listen, there’s so many players we could look at and say, they were missed at that point and they had to pay more.
“That’s just life, that’s part of it, and there’s different judges. 99 people can judge a player and not like him and one just says, ‘bang, he’s for me’.
“It’s just that I’ve seen these boys grow so I know what’s under their bonnet. I know what they’re carrying in their toolbox.”
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Godfrey may not have many fans at Old Trafford now, though, after he was caught on camera telling the team to “f*** off” during a thrilling 3-3 draw between the sides earlier this month.
It came after forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin secured the equaliser in the last minute of stoppage time, sparking wild celebrations.
And the 23-year-old could be joined by even more talents over the summer as Ancelotti will be give £100m in transfer funds by owner Farshad Moshiri.
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