Sir Alex Ferguson inadvertently helped Arsenal sign Alexis Sanchez after preventing the Chilean from joining Manchester City in 2011, reports the Daily Star.
With Udinese looking to cash in on their star player, Manchester City reportedly agreed a £26.5 million fee with the Serie A club. But before the Citizens could agree personal terms with Sanchez, Manchester United manager Ferguson launched a rival bid, stopping the deal in its tracks.
Eventually both Manchester clubs would miss out with Barcelona proving too tempting to turn down. It sealed Sanchez's path, which would eventually lead him to the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2014.
Ferguson to thank
Arsenal agreed to pay Barcelona a reported fee of £33 million for Sanchez and he has since proved to be worthy of such a price tag. Many consider him to be the best player in the Premier League having been involved in a total of 19 goals (12 scored, seven assisted) in an excellent debut season.
So Arsene Wenger has his old adversary, who eventually retired in 2012, to thank for helping to bring Sanchez to north London. Had Manchester United not stepped in to halt the transfer it is more than likely that City would have eventually agreed a deal and signed Sanchez.
Article continues below
It is also claimed in the same report that Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool were in the race to sign him in the last summer transfer window. Brendan Rodgers has admitted he failed in his attempts to sign him, but Sanchez's desire to move to London saw him push for a move to Arsenal.
Manchester United seemed intent on signing Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid instead while Manuel Pellegrini was struggling to get City's books balance out to fall in line with Uefa's financial fair play regulations.
Fortunately, Sanchez became available again at the perfect time for Arsenal. New sponsorship deals saw a wave of wealth arrive at the Emirates Stadium for the first time since their ambitious move from Highbury in 2006, allowing Wenger to spend more than he ever has done in a single window.