Why Conor Bradley turned down Manchester United to sign for Liverpool

Conor Bradley turned down interest from Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton to sign for Liverpool.

After a fruitful loan spell with Bolton in 2022/23, 20-year-old Bradley has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign for the Reds.

Despite starting the season with an injury, the Northern Ireland international has made nine appearances in all competitions for the Reds, getting his Premier League debut in the 4-0 win over Bournemouth last month.

The young right back registered an assist in that game, while he bagged two more in the 5-2 FA Cup win over Norwich.

Bradley then grabbed the headlines with his Man of the Match display against Chelsea in which he scored once and assisted twice in the 4-1 win.

His strike was since named the Reds' Goal of the Month for January, while he has also been nominated for the Premier League's Player of the Month award for his impressive displays.

One of a number of impressive academy products getting their chance this season, it's been a whirlwind rise to prominence for Bradley, who joined Liverpool from Dungannon Swifts almost five years ago.

Bradley was first picked up on a scholarship programme, before later penning professional terms.

Back in 2019, when he made his move, Bradley — then a 15-year-old winger — told the Belfast Telegraph how the transfer came about, revealing that Liverpool weren't the only big club interested.

"I was training with the Liverpool Academy in Belfast and they brought me over for a trial," he is quoted as saying. "I didn't do very well at first but then I went to Germany on a tour in April 2016 and I was named Players' Player of the Tour. That was really the start of it all for me."

He continued: "I played a game for Northern Ireland in Newry and after that, I had Chelsea and Manchester United looking at me as well."

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Conor Bradley after the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Wednesday January 31, 2024. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRL Copyright: xPeterxByrnex 75209270

As well as being a boyhood Red, Bradley added that it was the 'family' and 'education' aspects of Liverpool as a club that made their offer more appealing.

He said: "I went to United and Southampton on trial but we picked Liverpool. It wasn't just because I support them, it was because they're a real family club and that's something we all really appreciate.

"They're also keen on the education side of it, which is very important to me."

Half a decade on, the choice appears to be a match made in heaven for player and club.

Bradley has missed Liverpool's last two fixtures (vs Arsenal and Burnley) due to the tragic passing of his father, but could come back into the team this weekend for the trip to Brentford, with vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold an injury doubt.

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