By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens
Jesse Lingard has revealed he rejected the chance to move to Liverpool before joining Manchester United.
The 22-year-old, who could make his first England appearance against France on Tuesday, was approached by the north-west duo when he was aged seven and affiliated to a club in Warrington.
“I was at a local club, Penketh United, and Mike Glennie, a Manchester United scout, came to watch me,” Lingard told the United website.
“He spoke to my grandad and offered me trials but there was also interest from Liverpool and I had to pick. I was only young but obviously my heart was with United at the time.”
Lingard learned his trade alongside fellow academy graduates Ravel Morrison, Michael and Will Keane, Sam Johnstone and Larnell Cole before he had several loan spells to gain first-team experience.
“I think it’s just been an incredible experience, coming through from the Under 7s to where I am now and what I’ve achieved already,” added Lingard.
“It’s been incredible and I can’t thank the United staff enough. They could have let me go because of my height and I would now be playing somewhere else but they stuck with me. They saw my ability and I’m thankful for that.”
“Going through the years, I was with Larnell Cole, Mike and Will Keane, Sam [Johnstone], Ravel [Morrison] and Tunners [Ryan Tunnicliffe].
“There are a lot of lads still doing their thing at other clubs and they’re happy seeing me where I am. I’ve won a lot of trophies – like the FA Youth Cup and the Reserves league a couple of times – but it would top it off to win the Premier League with the first team.”