It came after Barry moved to Blackburn in 2003 and early in his Rovers career made a huge impression on the English Premier League.
According to McLeish, Sir Alex had his eye on the former Rangers and Scotland captain in preparation for signing him for his hugely successful Manchester United side.
“There was a spell when Barry was at Blackburn and Alex Ferguson said he was considering joining him,” McLeish said.
“He told me in private and he really thought about it.
“I don’t know if it was there when Roy Keane left, but he certainly considered Barry.
“Barry could play in any stadium in the world without being confused. He had such a belief in himself.
Ferguson moved to Blackburn for £ 7.5million in 2003 and quickly set about making an impression in the club’s midfielder.
But tragedy only struck a few months in his Blackburn career when Barry damaged his kneecap in a game against Newcastle United and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Despite being named the club’s captain, Ferguson submitted a transfer request amid the interest of Rangers, the midfielder eager for this will to win and success at Ibrox.
McLeish opened up about his time managing Ferguson, where he admitted there had been more than a few clashes with the former Rangers captain.
“Barry, in my time with the Rangers with him, there were maybe a couple of ding-dongs,” McLeish said.
“But very few and far between. “
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