John O’Shea reveals he was set for Celtic move before Manchester United came calling

John O'Shea

The centre-back, now at Reading, won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during 12 years at Old Trafford.

However, the 118-time Republic of Ireland international has revealed ahead of May’s Under-17 Euros in his home country that the competition had a huge impact on the direction his playing career went.

"Ireland won the European Under-17s title in 1998 and personally, I definitely took a lot from it,” he said, as reported by The Daily Record. (opens in new tab)

“The countries we were playing against, with their rich pedigree and the fact that we could compete and win it.

"I was just about to sign for Celtic until [Manchester] United were able to watch me in those games.

"It was a contributing factor in turning my career in that direction, so I have a lot to thank it for."

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.