Nicky Butt reveals he quit Man Utd as he ‘couldn’t stand’ Kleberson and Eric Djemba-Djemba beating him to first XI spot | The Sun

NICKY BUTT has revealed that he left Man United because he "couldn't stand" being behind Kleberson and Eric Djemba-Djemba in the pecking order.

The former Red Devil left the club for Newcastle in 2004 with the belief that he should have been playing ahead of the duo.

Butt was already the third-choice midfielder for Sir Alex Ferguson, as he had legends Roy Keane and Paul Scholes to pick from.

But when Kleberson and Djemba-Djemba both joined United in 2003 and were preferred over Butt, he became more frustrated with his lack of opportunities to play.

He told The Daily Mail: "[Paul] Scholes and [Roy] Keane were better than me but I always played in the big games because we would play a three in midfield.

"So I was okay. Not always dead happy but okay.


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"But I truly couldn't stand players who were not as good as me playing instead of me, Kleberson and Djemba-Djemba.

"Just because they had been bought. I couldn't have it so I left.

"But it was hard."

Butt went on to play 134 Premier League games for the Magpies, scoring five goals in his six-year spell with the club.

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While both Kleberson and Djemba-Djemba only lasted two years at Old Trafford before leaving for Besiktas and Aston Villa, respectively.


Butt did return to United after retiring to coach at the club in 2012 and then moved up to be the Academy head in 2019, but he left the club again in 2021.

He added:"The second time, two years back, wasn't hard because I realised I couldn't be there anymore.

"I could have stayed for 25 years and had a nice little job with my mouth shut but it's not me."

It is believed that he had a run-in with United's football director John Murtough, before leaving the club.

Butt also co-owns League Two side Salford City, alongside Gary and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham.

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