David Moyes has revealed that Manchester United were close to completing the signing of Cesc Fabregas in the summer of 2013.
The Scottish coach, who lasted just 10 months at Old Trafford after succeeding the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, was convinced United would sign the Spain international prior to the 2013-14 campaign.
However, Fabregas ended up staying at the Camp Nou for one more season after failing to hand in a transfer request. Twelve months later the midfielder would join Chelsea for £27 million.
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"We thought we were taking him to Manchester United," Moyes told Goals on Sunday, according to the Mirror. "We spoke to him at the time, but unfortunately it didn't happen.
"Manchester United are always in for the top players, we were in for the top players at the time. They were in for the top players recently and they will be in for them again."
Moyes takes dig at Ed Woodward
Moyes bemoaned the fact that David Gill was not at the club to help him secure Fabregas’s services. Ed Woodward replaced the long-serving chief executive that summer and Moyes aimed a thinly-veiled dig at the Red Devils’ under-fire executive vice-chairman.
“There was a new chief executive in place” Moyes added. “David Gill had left which was a real big thing for Manchester United. He was someone who was very important to the club and to how things ticked along at the club.
"In that position you need to understand football, like David Gill."
United got Marouane Fellaini instead...
Instead of signing Fabregas, Moyes only managed to secure one deal in his first transfer window at Manchester United: the £27.5 million acquisition of Marouane Fellaini, who has struggled at Old Trafford.
Fabregas was superb in his first season at Chelsea
To make matters worse for Moyes, who had been sacked by the time Fabregas joined Chelsea, the Spanish World Cup winner was sensational in his first season back in the Premier League.
Fabregas produced the most assists in the Premier League (18), had more touches of the ball than any other player in the league (3331) and, of course, ended the season with the title.
The former Arsenal star has been unable to replicate those scintillating performances this term - but there’s no doubt every Manchester United fan would still take the 28-year-old at Old Trafford in a heartbeat if the opportunity arose.
Fabregas remains one of the top midfielders in the world and has shown signs in recent weeks - such as his excellent assist for Pedro during Saturday’s 5-1 win over Newcastle United - that he’s on his way back to his best.
Would David Moyes still be Manchester United manager had the club signed Cesc Fabregas? Have your say by leaving a comment below.