Although they have brought in star players quite often, United have made mistakes in the transfer market. They missed a number of opportunities to acquire great talent.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer
In 2011, Manchester United were looking for a new goalkeeper to replace Edwin van der Sar. The two players who are the target of the Red Devils are Manuel Neuer and David de Gea.
However, Manchester United finally recruited David de Gea. Sir Alex Ferguson chose De Gea because it was a recommendation from goalkeeping coach Eric Steele at the time.
“Eric and I watched him (De Gea) play Valencia, and the things he talked about – his agility, his confidence, his pace – were evident,” said Ferguson in 2016.
“And Eric has built a relationship with his parents, and is so steadfast, that I have to believe in him – and I’m glad I did, because he was right.”
Right Back: Thomas Meunier
Manchester United lost Antonio Valencia in the summer of 2019. The Red Devils then recruited Aaron Wan-Bissaka to replace the Ecuadorian.
“It was an intense period, with a lot of interest and discussion,” Meunier told RTBF.
“I could have left but that was not done because their offer was not suitable for the club or myself. It doesn’t work 100 percent. ”
Center-back: Raphael Varane
Jose Mourinho is the man who brought Raphael Varane to Real Madrid. The French defender was brought in from Lens in 2011.
When Mourinho coached Manchester United in 2016, Mourinho asked Varane to follow in his footsteps to Old Trafford. However, Varane refused the offer.
“At the moment the club [Madrid] and I are in sync and I have no questions to ask,” Varane said when asked why he turned down United.
“I’ve always said that I feel fine in Madrid. It’s not easy to say no to Jose Mourinho, but you have to weigh the pros and cons. We are men, we have to make decisions and that’s how it is. “
Center-back: Sergio Ramos
A year before eyeing Raphael Varane, Manchester United were interested in recruiting Sergio Ramos. At that time, Ramos’ future at Real Madrid was uncertain. His contract negotiations had stalled.
However, Ramos remained at the Santiago Bernabeu in the end. The player admitted that he really thought about leaving.
“At one point I did think about making a change,” he said.
“But in the end my priority has always been Real Madrid and I am thinking of changes for other reasons.
“But all the problems are resolved and everyone is happy, but it is not an economic problem like some people make it.”
Left Back: Saul
Saul is an important figure for Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid. The midfielder can also play as a left back.
In 2015, Manchester United was offered to sign Saul and they turned him down. In the end, the Red Devils got Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
“These are players who at the age of 18 were offered to Everton and they said no,” renowned Spanish journalist Guillem Balague told BBC Radio Five Live in 2018.
“When he was 20 he was offered to Manchester United and Manchester United said no.”
Central Midfielder: Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson is currently the Liverpool captain. However, the English midfielder could have played at Manchester United.
In his autobiographical book, Sir Alex Ferguson reveals that the Red Devils are attracted to Henderson. However, they chose not to recruit him in the end.
He wrote: “We often see Jordan Henderson and Steve Bruce very enthusiastic about him.
“But we noticed that Henderson ran from his knees, with his back straight, while modern footballers ran from his hips. We think his gait could cause him problems later in his career. “
Central Midfielder: Toni Kroos
Toni Kroos was once the target of Manchester United. Even the player and Bayern Munich have reached an agreement with manager David Moyes.
However, the transfer was ultimately canceled. Moyes was fired and Kroos ended up going to Real Madrid.
“In the end, we agreed to do it,” said Kroos.
“We agreed verbally. But I’m not someone who’s worried about the odds. Yes, that was close. I almost went to Manchester United. But that didn’t happen. “
Central Midfielder: N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante successfully led Leicester City to the Premier League title in the 2015/16 season. After that, Kante decided to move to Chelsea.
But before moving to Chelsea, United had tried to persuade Kante to go to Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho even contacted the French midfielder personally.
“It’s amazing Mourinho called me, even though I had been warned beforehand how he would appeal to me,” said Kante.
“I listened to his arguments about why I should move to United. But at that time I was hesitating between staying at Leicester or going to Chelsea.
“My discussion with them has gone well. But when I speak, I have a good feeling with Conte.
Right Winger: Sadio Mane
Before joining Liverpool, Mane had already held talks with United and Louis van Gaal. But the conversation with Jurgen Klopp turned him around.
“Yes, I was very, very close (to joining United) because I even met them,” he told The Mirror.
“So I came, I was there and I spoke with the boss who was there before (Van Gaal).
“They made an offer, but in the same week, Klopp called me. He said: ‘I think it’s the right club. The right coach for me, and I think I’d better go to Liverpool ‘. For me, I thought it was a great time too. I said, ‘I’m going to Liverpool’. “
Striker: Robert Lewandowski
After helping Borussia Dortmund to a German league and cup title, Robert Lewandowski has been linked with a move away from the club. Manchester United are among those interested in the player.
Lewandowski is excited to work with Sir Alex Ferguson. However, Borussia Dortmund refused to let the player go to Old Trafford.
“Sir Alex Ferguson. I spoke to him after two years at Dortmund and at that moment I was really thinking about moving to Manchester United,” he told the Guardian.
“Because of Ferguson and because of Manchester United. Borussia Dortmund said: ‘No, that’s all.’ It was the first time I thought about moving because if you get a phone call from Sir Alex Ferguson, for a young player it is something extraordinary. It is a special day for me. “
Left Winger: Eden Hazard
In the summer of 2012, Eden Hazard was one of the hottest properties in the transfer market. The Belgian player is in demand by a number of European giants.
Chelsea were the team that ended up getting Hazard’s signature. However, the Blues have to compete with teams like Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and, of course, Manchester United.
“I always said I wanted to play in England. There is a struggle between Chelsea and United, but I think Chelsea has the best project, “said Hazard.
“I made continued contact with both clubs and I spoke with both coaches. I want to play in the Champions League every year.
“When they won the Champions League, I said to myself: ‘Why not Chelsea?’ The team is young and I have a better chance of playing there. “