By Alex Stevens

Jamie Carragher has revealed in the Mail how Liverpool came within a whisker of signing Manchester United icon Nemanja Vidic.

The Merseyside giants were in hot pursuit of centre-back Vidic in 2005 as they tried to wrest him from Spartak Moscow and pair him with Carragher in defence.

But the high profile pundit and Anfield icon explained that Rafael Benitez was beaten to the punch a by bitter dugout rival Sir Alex Ferguson as United out-bid Liverpool a month before the January 2006 window opened.

Carragher made the revelation as he explained why he had placed Vidic in his list of the top ten centre-backs of the Premier League era.

“I would have loved to play alongside him and I almost did,” Carragher wrote in his weekly Mail column. “Rafa Benitez thought he had signed Vidic in December 2005 but Manchester United came in and gazumped Liverpool.

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“Vidic was one of the main reasons Sir Alex Ferguson wrestled the title back from [Jose] Mourinho in 2007. I was tempted to move him higher up this list but I can’t forget some of the games he endured against Fernando Torres.”

Vidic spent eight years at United, where he established a formidable central defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand that was key to the team reaching three Champions League finals in four years as well as winning multiple domestic trophies.

The Serbian, now 35, retired from playing last year after a short spell at Inter Milan followed his time at United, where he made 300 appearances in all competitions and had hero status among the supporters.

In other Liverpool transfer news, the club are clear favourites to sign a world-class playmaker after a dramatic development.

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