‘I discovered Manchester United wanted to sign me in a chip shop and thought it was a prank’

Alexander Buttner has admitted he was in a local chip shop with a group of friends when he discovered Manchester United wanted to sign him, confessing that he thought it was a prank.

Following a series of impressive performances for Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, the defender started to attract interest from several English clubs, such as QPR and Southampton. However, against all odds, he sealed a move to Old Trafford in August 2012, putting pen to paper on a five-year contract.

The now 34-year-old, who plays for De Graafschap, thought the whole situation was a prank, so much so that he almost put the phone down on his agent, who was informing him of United’s interest in getting a deal over the line. They signed him for £5million and he made a total 28 appearances for the club, chipping in with two goals and three assists, before leaving in 2014.

More than a decade on from his arrival at Old Trafford, the former Netherlands Under-21 international has opened up about the moment he learnt of United’s interest, revealing he was in a chip shop with a group of friends. He said the chip shop went ‘upside down’, such was the scale of the celebrations in response to his news.

“I was eating a big portion of chips with some mates and my brother when I got this call from my agent,” admitted Buttner. “It was quite weird because a few weeks before, I had been looking at clubs of a completely different level in England. Southampton, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers.

“I was going to sign with one of those clubs, I thought. Now suddenly I was wanted by Manchester United?

“I thought it was a massive prank because when I had been visiting one of the other clubs, at one of the stadiums there was a Manchester United book and I said to my agent ‘take a picture of me with the book and we’ll pretend I am in England to sign with Man United. I thought it would be a cracker because my friends knew I had gone to England.

“Then a week later my agent called me when I was in the chip shop and just said ‘Alex, it’s Manchester United.’ I just thought, ‘f**k off’, but he was really serious. Everyone around me looked at me and wondered what was going on.

“All my mates looked at me and I said ‘we are going to Manchester!’ Then everyone went crazy. The chip shop was upside down.

“It was such a great moment. Celebrating the biggest transfer of your life in the chip shop around the corner. My brother jumped on the table, my mates went wild.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply