Sir Alex Ferguson was renowned for the effort he would make to bring the most promising youngsters to Manchester United.
And he went to great lengths to snap up Bojan Djordjic in 1999, travelling all the way to Sweden to visit Brommapojkarna – the starlet’s club on the outskirts of Stockholm which he joined after fleeing the Yugoslav Wars with his family.
This personal touch was what convinced Djordjic to snub interest from a number of other sides and commit his future to the Red Devils.
Though he would only make two senior appearances during his time at Old Trafford, the former midfielder fondly remembers the work Ferguson put in to secure his signature.
“All of these clubs I visited, Manchester United made the biggest impression on me,” Djordjic told the UTD Podcast.
“We met the gaffer! Sir Alex, he came to Stockholm to visit my boyhood team and speak to the coaches there.
“Can you believe that? Sir Alex, after the treble-winning season, sits on a plane for a 16 or 17-year-old kid and comes to his little club [on the] outskirts of Stockholm, has a chat for over an hour with the other coaches there.
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“How can I not sign for United then? Everybody else was sending someone like the boss of the academy, some coach here and there.
“Sir Alex came to Stockholm! I said: ‘Where’s the pen, I’ll sign this contract’.”
But Djordjic admitted Ferguson was less charming when it came to the details of his deal, adding: “You couldn’t budge with him when it came to the contract!
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“I said: ‘What is this? From year one to year two it’s like a 50-quid raise?’ But he thought it was the biggest deal ever. He was like: ‘Fifty pounds is good!’
“How much was my first contract? If I tell you now, then you will understand why everyone else in that team wanted to break my legs when I was under-19!
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“Everybody was on YT [youth team] contracts and on £90 a week, and I had a professional contract.
“Everybody knows being an Academy player, you don’t earn that much. But I got a great signing-on [fee], Sir Alex listened to me and made sure I could buy my first flat.”
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