Former Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley claimed that top stars once took pay cuts just to have the privilege of signing for the Red Devils but stated now it appears they don’t want to come to Old Trafford.
United are far from the dominant force they’ve been in previous eras as the days of challenging at the top are over, and have been over for a number of years with it approaching a decade since their last title victory in 2013.
Cleverley, who graduated from United’s famous youth academy before making 79 appearances for the first team, knows exactly what playing for United used to mean to young players making their way in the game.
But he admits the motivation for up-and-coming talent, and even the game’s top stars, is very different in this day and age.
Asked if it’s a shock to see where United are, Cleverley told talkSPORT Breakfast: “It is, but I think [former manager] Sir Alex Ferguson was a big part of that.
“People would genuinely take less money just to say that they played for Manchester United, but I think that’s slowly going now, or has gone.
“Young players are being offered so much money and it seems that their target is to get as much money as they can rather than having the prestige of playing for Manchester United.
“I never thought we’d get to this stage where it isn’t intimidating going there as an away player.
“What’s worse is that the two places where you have the most fear, are Man United’s biggest rivals in Man City and Liverpool.
“They’re the two places where you going and think about damage limitation.”