John Terry was close to signing for Liverpool back in 2003.
According to former assistant manager Phil Thompson, Gerard Houllier had a verbal agreement with Terry for him to join the club.
Thompson was an assistant to Gerard Houllier from 1998 to 2004.
“In the final game of the 2002/03 season, it was a shoot-out between Liverpool and Chelsea for the last Champions League place,” Thompson explained to Paddy Power podcast From The Horse’s Mouth.
“This was just before Roman Abramovich came in. We’d heard Chelsea were in dire straits, and they weren’t going to offer Frank Lampard or John Terry a contract.
“After the game, as Chelsea were doing a lap of honour, Gerard Houllier said to me that Terry was a bit of a player. I agreed, adding I didn’t think they’d offered him a contract.
“So Houllier went and shook John Terry’s hand and asked ‘how would you like to play for Liverpool?’ and John said: ‘I’d love to, Mr Houllier.’
“After, we sent one of our coaches into the players’ lounge and asked John for his agent’s phone number. John said: ‘I’ll do more than that, here’s my personal telephone number, ask him to give us a call’.
“And a couple of weeks later, Abramovich took over, and his first dealings were signing Terry and Lampard to big contracts – so we were that far away from getting him.”
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