In light of ex-Manchester United player, Quinton Fortune’s comments about Sir Alex Ferguson missing out on signing Ronaldinho for the club, we look at 10 other players that the Scot missed out on signing for Manchester United.
While he is without a question the most successful manager of the Premier League era, it is easy to wonder what else ‘Fergie’ might have achieved with the club had he been able to sign a number of other targets that he had on his radar, and also what other honours this may have led to for the club.
One area that the ex-boss would no doubt have liked to have improved on is European titles, though during his time there, he did brilliantly to win the Champions League twice, the first time in the club’s remarkable treble-winning season.
So, with this in mind, let’s look at 10 who got away who might have contributed more to the Scotsman’s success had he managed to sign them.
It is no secret that Fergie was a huge admirer, even at one point saying the Spaniard was the best striker in Europe. In 2010 Fergie got his chance to sign him, though, he chose Schalke instead. Image Source: dailymail.co.uk
Twice. In 1992 and 1995 from Southampton and Blackburn Rovers respectively. With service from David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, Shearer would surely have scored 40 plus a season! Image Source: empireofthekop.com
Ferguson admits not signing him in 1988 was the biggest mistake of his career. Fergie recalls: 'We spoke to him the night before I went on holiday. He says 'Go and enjoy yourself Mr Ferguson, I'll be signing for Manchester United'.
"So I went on my holidays but Martin Edwards (then chairman) rang and said 'I've got some bad news - he signed for Tottenham. They bought a house for his mother and father in the north east and that swung it: "I think it was a bad mistake, and Paul admits it." Image Source: unilad.co.uk
United went head-to-head with (at the time) new billionaires Chelsea for the player and lost out. The Blues subsequently won consecutive league titles. Image Source: goal.com
In 2007, Fergie had the chance to sign the perfect Giggs replacement though refused to match Spurs' £5 million, plus add-ons offer. Image Source: sportskeeda.com
Following the 1998 World Cup, Fergie pounced for the Dutchman, only for him to do a last minute U-turn and decide to stay at AC Milan.
Image Source: whosdatedwho.com
United offered him a trial in 2000 and while he impressed, they couldn't force through a work permit. Image Source: bjrlivefm.com
Fergie is likely to be annoyed that he couldn't convince chairman Martin Edwards to sign the striker, due to wage demands. Image Source: caughtoffside.com
Certainly an interesting array of players, which also makes you think. After losing out on Kluivert, Fergie signed Dwight Yorke who helped to deliver him the treble a season later. While had Robben signed he would have eventually formed an attack which included Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez and perhaps one of the best front fours in Premier League history.
Obviously the signing of Ronaldinho would have softened the blow caused by David Beckham’s departure and would no doubt have led to United challenging further in subsequent Champions League competitions. While ‘Fergie’ can definitely look back on a job well done, it begs the question; could he have done even better had just half of these players signed?