Sir Alex Ferguson will no doubt go down as one of the greatest managers in footballing history.
His ability to make some of the best signings in football history has made him a true legend, but even he made a few mistakes missing out on some of football’s most prized assets.
Here are four of the best players that he failed to sign:
Eden Hazard | Chelsea
After a stellar season with French side Lille which saw the Belgium international score 21 goals and rack up 18 assists, Eden Hazard desired to make ‘the next step’ in his footballing career. He set his heart on England and being one of the brightest prospects on planet football he wasn’t short of demand, with both Manchester clubs and Chelsea all chasing his signature.
Manchester United showed their first interest when Sir Alex was spotted in attendance as Lille faced Lyon in Ligue 1 last March. It was then clear that Sir Alex Ferguson had heavy intentions to make Eden Hazard a Manchester United player.
Eden Hazard soon became the king of playing mind games even out witting Sir Alex himself. It was thought that both Manchester clubs were front runners but Hazard soon went on to claim he’d be wearing blue next season, ending any hopes that Sir Alex had of signing the 22-year-old.
It was expected Hazard would join United, however the saga was to then take another twist when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to the Champions League trophy. 10 days later, Hazard came out with his final blow saying that he was to sign for the Champions League winners.
Lucas Moura | Paris Saint-Germain
Manchester United was in desperate need of a decent winger, and still is. The summer of 2012 was the year that Sir Alex Ferguson tried to solve this problem, but it wasn’t to be.
Along with Hazard, Moura chose against heading to Old Trafford, instead choosing mega rich side PSG, with many believing that the Brazilian had simply chosen money over joining one of football’s most prestigious clubs.
The Daily Mail later reported that Lucas Moura claimed he wasn’t motivated by money and chose the French side due to the persuasion and presence of PSG’s centre-back Thiago Silva being at the club.
At the time of the deal, Sao Paulo vice-president Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes revealed the club's former star player Leonardo, and now PSG's sporting director had been key in seeing the midfielder chose Ligue 1 over the Premier League.
Wesley Sneijder | Galatasaray
Money talks in football and that’s exactly the issue that arose when Manchester United tried to sign Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder. The player had just come off the back of a treble winning season with the Italian side but soon fell out with the club over the player’s current wages. The club were struggling financially and were determined to cut the wages of some their star players, including Wesley Sneijder. Although the Dutchmen was unwilling to take a pay-cut at Inter and he was soon out casted from the squad.
Manchester United were a number of clubs that came knocking on the 29-year-old's door, but like Inter Milan most weren’t willing to meet his high wage demands. The saga went on for another year with the Red Devils taking a second interest in the summer of 2012 but failed to come to an agreement. Surprisingly, the player soon joined Turkish side Galatasaray for just £8.3 million.
Sneijder has since revealed that he blames his former club Inter Milan for “wrecking his chances” of signing with Manchester United.
Gareth Bale | Tottenham Hotspur
Southampton have a tradition of breeding future stars, and in 2006-07, Gareth Bale was another on the conveyer belt of talent. He was emerging as a definite star for the future and began to have a host of clubs after him, most prominently Manchester United, but they couldn’t get Southampton to accept their bid. United were refusing to go too high for a player who was still largely unproved, as a result Manchester United lost out to Tottenham who signed him for an initial £5 million for Bale, which would potentially rise to £10 million based on appearances and success.
Tottenham managed to lure Bale to White Hart Lane, and United and a host of clubs would soon regret missing out with the Midfielder’s price tag rocketing up to £85 million in just five seasons at Tottenham. The Welshmen has gone on to be one of the most wanted players in world football with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United once again after his signature.
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