Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson has revealed he turned down Manchester United to join the Merseyside club instead.
Clarkson, 21, graduated from Liverpool’s academy in 2019, making his senior debut for the club in a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa.
He would sign a new long-term contract with the Reds in 2020 before making his Champions League debut in a group stage match against FC Midtylland that December.
The midfielder spent part of last season on loan at Championship side Blackburn Rovers to continue his development before joining Scottish club Aberdeen on another loan at the start of this season.
Clarkson has impressed north of the border, scoring five goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for the Scottish Premiership side.
Clarkson reveals Man Utd interest
The Blackburn-born midfielder has now revealed that he turned down approaches from both his hometown club and Manchester United to join Liverpool.
And he insists he has no regrets about that decision after working with Jurgen Klopp.
“I signed the contract where you’ve got to be with one club when I was nine,” Clarkson told the Liverpool Echo.
“Liverpool was the best option for me at the time. All my family supported it.
“Blackburn and Manchester United wanted me but it just seemed right going to Liverpool. Every age group, I was one of the main players in every team I played in. I don’t regret not choosing those other clubs. It’s put me in good stead now.
“It’s unbelievable because they’re one of the best teams in the world. To be training with them on a daily basis, you know it’s only going to make you better as well because you’re learning from the best.
“And probably the best manager in world football as well. He’s a really good guy. He’s exactly how he comes across on the TV, really funny and gets involved with all the lads.”
Clarkson on working with Gerrard and Thiago
Clarkson had the opportunity to work under Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard when he was in charge of the U18 side at Anfield, describing the experience “crazy” but “brilliant”.
He also expressed his admiration for Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara, having worked alongside the Spaniard after stepping up to first-team training.
“Thiago is my type of player,” added Clarkson.
“I wouldn’t say I’m like him but more of my attributes are his attributes. Technically, his passing and other stuff like that is outrageous. He does stuff, even in the biggest matches, that not many players can do. He is world class.
“When he first came in, I couldn’t get near him in the first session. I was like, ‘Wow!’ But then I saw other players try to get near him and they couldn’t get near him either so I thought, ‘Oh good, it’s not just me then!'”