Manchester United's former head of security has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson passed up the opportunity to sign Thierry Henry before the Frenchman joined Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger recruited his countryman for £11million from Juventus in 1999 and Henry would go on to become one of the most prolific goal scorers in the history of the English top flight.

He plundered 228 goals in all for the Gunners - including two in a loan spell in the twilight of his career - and is the club's all-time record scorer.

Henry helped Arsenal to two Premier League titles and two FA Cups during his spell in north London before eventually leaving for Barcelona in 2007.

Henry would go on to become Arsenal's record goal scorer

But it could have been oh so different, according to Ned Kelly, United's former head of security who also acted as a bodyguard for Fergie, David Beckham and Eric Cantona.

Kelly claims it was Cantona's brother, Jean-Marie, that alerted United to the fact Henry was willing to make the switch to Old Trafford before moving to Highbury.

"In the tunnel after the game my phone goes, Eric’s older brother Jean-Marie [Cantona] says, ‘Ned, tell Alex [Ferguson] that Thierry Henry wants to come to the club’," Kelly told beIN Sports.

He didn't do too badly without Henry

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"Now this was before he [Henry] went to Arsenal, his first choice was Manchester United. So I go to the boss and say, ‘boss, I’ve just had Jean-Marie Cantona on the phone, he had said Henry wants to come to the club’.

"He [Ferguson] says, ‘no way, he’s always f****** injured’. He went to Arsenal, the rest is history."