Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he came close to signing Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, according to the Daily Mail.
In his autobiography released today, the former-Manchester United manager said he nearly agreed a deal to sign a 19-year-old Cech from Sparta Prague but pulled out late on after deciding the Czech Republic keeper was too young.
Chelsea went on to sign Cech when he was 22 after the stopper had spent two seasons with Rennes in France.
Back in 2001, Manchester United were searching for a long-term replacement for the departed legend Peter Schmeichel.
Schemichel had left Old Trafford in 1999, and Ferguson had failed with various replacements and stop-gaps, including the likes of Raimond van der Gouw, Massimo Taibi, Mark Bosnich and Fabien Barthez.
Cech had been identified after breaking through into the first-team ranks at Sparta Prague while still a teenager.
Clearly a gifted young goalkeeper, Ferguson sent United scouts to monitor Cech's development but never pulled the trigger on a deal to bring him to Old Trafford.
Instead, Cech was allowed to join Rennes and then Chelsea, where he has gone on to become one of the greatest keepers in Premier League history.
The Czech Republic international has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and one Champions League with the Stamford Bridge club.
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