Paul Scholes believed he would be compelled to leave Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson signed a new midfielder.

Paul Scholes believed he would be compelled to leave Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson signed a new midfielder.

When Sir Alex Ferguson signed Juan Sebastian Veron in 2001, Paul Scholes believed his time at Manchester United was coming to a close.

Ferguson shattered the British transfer record when he signed the Argentine midfielder from Lazio for £28.1 million when he was 26 years old and entering his prime.

He arrived with a stellar reputation, having been a crucial member of the 1999/2000 Lazio team that won the treble under Sven Goran Eriksson.

The midfielder appeared to have begun to justify his hefty transfer fee during his early days at Old Trafford, as he was named September’s Premier League Player of the Month after scoring three goals.

Despite his impressive performances in the Champions League, Veron struggled with consistency and was unable to adapt completely to Premier League football.

The Argentine would depart the club two years after his signing to join Roman Abramovich’s newly-acquired Chelsea.

Injuries limited his impact at Stamford Bridge, and upon Jose Mourinho’s arrival at the club a year later, he was soon loaned out.

Now, Scholes has opened up about the moment Veron joined Old Trafford, speculating that the transfer could herald the end of his illustrious tenure at the club.

Paul Scholes pertaining to Juan Sebastian Veron

In an interview with FIVE’s Harry Pinero, he explained: “When Veron signed, I was thinking a lot about moving forward and attacking from midfield.

“We were very comparable athletes. I thought he was an incredible footballer when I watched him play for Lazio.We paid between £28-30 million for his services. I thought, “Maybe I should leave now.” You do, of course you do. You’ve just signed a phenomenal player, and you’re wondering, “Can I live up to that?”

“It’s a different mindset, wouldn’t you say? You can say, “All right, I’m leaving. I will speak with the manager, as I will not be participating. Or you can attempt to play with your head down.”

Scholes remained at Old Trafford for a further 12 years, with a temporary retirement in 2011 serving as an interlude.

He netted 20 goals in all competitions in the 2002/03 season, underlining his attacking abilities that he mentioned, before reverting back to a deeper role as time went on. Ferguson will be relieved that the England midfielder stayed put.

Paul Scholes believed he would be compelled to leave Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson signed a new midfielder.