Martin Keown says he could have signed for Manchester United

Arsenal legend Martin Keown says he snubbed Manchester United for Everton when leaving Aston Villa early in his career.

Martin Keown may be an Arsenal hero, but he is one of the most reviled opponents in Manchester United's recent history due to his actions in 2004.

After Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a penalty against the Gunners, Keown infamously taunted the Dutchman, sparking ugly scenes which would be dubbed the Battle of Old Trafford.

While fans of both clubs may yearn for the competitiveness of those days, it could have panned out so very differently.

In an interview with Aston Villa's official website, Keown has revealed how he had an offer to sign with Manchester United early in his career... but rejected the chance to join Sir Alex Ferguson's side and joined Everton instead.

He said: "I had the chance to go to Man Utd but I eventually left for Everton. I had no regrets. That was a great club too.

"Graham [Taylor] did try - as well as Doug [Ellis] - to keep me there but it wasn't to be."

Keown was just 22-years-old at the time, leaving Villa in 1989 after spending three years at the club and making more than 100 appearances.

Everton paid £750,000 to sign him, and sold him to Arsenal at a profit for £2 million in 1993, where he remained until 2004, making more than 300 appearances and winning three league titles and three FA Cups.

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