One of the greatest players in Rangers’ history almost joined Man United – only for one of the Old Trafford club’s best players to turn the English giants off a move for the Ibrox legend.
“Slim” Jim Baxter is widely regarded as one of the greatest Scottish players ever to play the game and one of the best Rangers players in the club’s illustrious history.
Playing with Man United legend Denis Law with Scotland, the Lawman revealed just how close Baxter came to joining the ranks of the legendary Red Devils side of the 60s.
However, when personally asked about a prospective move for the player, Law convinced United to look elsewhere because Baxter – a brilliant individual talent – wasn’t the man for that United team.
Posed the question over whether United should move for Baxter or Celtic rival Pat Crerand, Law put the Old Trafford club on to the latter citing a greater willingness to play for the team.
“He preferred Jim at that stage, but I told him: ‘Well, to be fair, Jim is a better player than Pat Crerand, but if you want a long-term investment, I think you would be better off signing Pat’,” said Law [Dundee Courier].
“Jim was the more skillful player of the two, of that there was no doubt, but he was too much of an individual at times.
“I just felt that if Matt was building for the future, Crerand would turn out to be a stronger, more dedicated player who would give the club more value.
“So Matt bought Paddy and Jim eventually went to Sunderland [in 1965], which wasn’t a particularly good move for him. Ian McCall had become the manager of Sunderland and they were pals, but Jim should really have gone to London or Manchester.”
Jim Baxter spent two spells at Rangers in the 1960s and made his name as a remarkably skillful left-winger who shone for club and country, playing over 250 games for the Gers and scoring some memorable individual goals.
Baxter also isn’t the only Rangers legend who almost signed for Man United, as one ex-Ibrox gaffer would reveal.