Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has named the surprise sale at the club that left him hugely disappointed.
The former Red Devils midfielder will have seen a host of big names depart Old Trafford during his long and successful career at the club, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Ruud van Nistelrooy’s exits likely to have been hard to take.
However, Scholes actually says it was particularly difficult for him to see his long-time team-mate and friend Nicky Butt be sold to Newcastle back in 2004.
Speaking to DAZN, as quoted by the Daily Mirror, Scholes said: “It was all part of football. When you start out with those five or six lads you hope that you’ll be there for the next 20 years.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way. You lose people along the way. Nicky went and Nicky was my best mate – I’d grown up with him since I was 12 or 13. You’re devastated, I really was devastated.”
Many United fans will probably have fond memories of Butt as well, with the former midfielder often proving a loyal servant and hard working squad player in some of Sir Alex Ferguson’s best sides, even if he was never exactly a star player himself.
Scholes’ quotes, however, also remind us of the bonds footballers form with each other that fans might often overlook when it comes to transfers like this.