Manchester United considered signing Vicent Kompany while he was still a talented teenager at Belgium club Anderlecht, a previously classified document has revealed.
Along with a number of other tantalising revelations, Sir Alex Ferguson's new book 'Legacy' came complete with a copy of a discussion sheet from a meeting about potential transfer targets.
The sheet reveals that Nicky Butt and Luke Chadwick were considered as "excess" to the squad while Jonathan Spector and Phil Bardsley were the best defensive prospects in the academy.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
But, of course, the most interesting part is to do with potential transfer targets, in which Kompany's name is listed alongside Gerard Pique, Gabriel Heinze and Philippe Mexes.
It gives Manchester United fans a glimpse at how good their club scouts are. All four defenders have gone on to have successful careers at the top with Kompany, arguably, the best of the lot.
But unfortunately for the Red Devils, Ferguson and his coaches decided to move for Heinze and Pique, leaving Bundesliga club Hamburg free to sign Kompany for just £6million in 2006.
The Belgian would later go on to sign for United's closest rivals, City, in 2008 and has captained them to two Premier League titles so far. He capped the second title by signing a five-year contract with Citizens worth £120,000-a-week.
Pique has also experienced tremendous success in his career, but not with the Red Devils. After failing to dislodge the partnership of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, the Spaniard returned to Barcelona for a fee of around £5m.
Heinze would also join in the summer of 2004, but his success at Old Trafford would be comparably limited. The controversial Argentinian infamously fell out with Ferguson and left the club for Real Madrid just three seasons later.