Document shows Sir Alex Ferguson's 'transfer targets' ahead of the 2004 summer window

Sir Alex Ferguson's 'player analysis' ahead of the 2004 summer transfer window was shown in his book

The 2003/04 season didn't go as planned for Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United.

United finished third in the Premier League, 15 points behind that season's invincibles, Arsenal.

They managed to win the Community Shield and the FA Cup but, as a whole, it would have been an underwhelming season.

As soon as the season finished, United would have been looking at ways to improve their squad and win the title once again.

In his 2015 book 'Leading', Ferguson actually included a player analysis document that he and his scouting team conducted immediately after the conclusion of the 2003/04 season.

The document ranked his current squad into groups while also looking at transfer targets for the summer.

It has emerged on Twitter once again and you can view it below:

Interesting stuff.

It appears they were initially after five players: Gabriel Heinze, Philippe Mexès, Vincent Kompany, Gerard Pique and Alan Smith.

United managed to sign three of their targets: Heinze, Pique and Smith.

Given they signed two defenders, it's likely that Ferguson didn't see the need to strengthen further, meaning Mexes and Kompany were not pursued.

Mexes, who was just 22 at the time, went on to have a successful career with Roma and Milan while also making 29 appearances for France.

Gabriel Heinze and Alan Smith in action for Manchester United

And Kompany would later go on to join Manchester City and become one of the best defenders of his generation.

While Heinze was a solid defender, United would no doubt look back and wish they signed Kompany instead.

The list also features youth players that United viewed as having potential.

Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign a youthful Vincent Kompany in 2004

Ton Heaton and Phil Bardsley, now both of Burnley, both featured under that heading.

United would later add Wayne Rooney and Liam Miller to their ranks.

But, despite a successful summer, the Red Devils would finish with 77 points in the Premier League, 18 points behind Chelsea.

Maybe, if a youthful Kompany signed for United that summer, things would have been very different...

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