In the build up to the release of his new book, entitled Leading, legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been talking about a few of the subjects in his newest autobiography.
In his 26 years at the club, Sir Alex bought 99 players to the club, including the likes of Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
But speaking recently, he revealed that there were three big names that he could’ve signed, but had their heart’s set elsewhere.
Vincent Kompany, captain of bitter rivals Manchester City, was one of the three, after Sir Alex made a bid to sign the defender in 2004, when the Belgian was still playing for Anderlecht.
At the same time, the Scotsman had Phillipe Mexes, Gabriel Heinze and Gerard Pique on his radar, the latter two of which managed to bring the Manchester.
Kompany, however, opted for Bundesliga side Hamburg, before joining the East Manchester side for £6m in 2008.
Controversial character Mario Balotelli was another name mentioned, but Sir Alex admits only “flirting” with the idea of signing him.
“In 2010 I briefly flirted with the idea of signing Mario Balotelli, the talented but controversial Italian striker.
“I did my homework on him, speaking to a few Italian contacts, but the feedback I got confirmed it was too big a risk.
“I don’t know whether this sort of candid professional courtesy exists in other fields, but for me it was a Godsend.”
The Italian striker made a big name for himself in Serie A at current league-leaders Inter, before joining Manchester City, before moving on to AC Milan and Liverpool.
Thirdly, the Scottish manager, who spent 26 years at United, admits he used Ryan Giggs in a bid to persuade then-Cardiff midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
Ramsey has come to be a vital feature in Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side, and has continued to impress since returning from a horrific leg break in 2010.
“Ryan Giggs was relentless in his quest to try and land his fellow Welshman, Aaron Ramsey, from Cardiff City. We flew Aaron up to Manchester, but it didn’t work.
“I had got word from Dave Jones, the Cardiff manager, that Aaron had originally wanted to play for us, but Arsene Wenger had somehow managed to turn his head and convince him that his future was at the Emirates.”
Ramsey returned to Cardiff for a loan spell after returning from injury, before becoming a mainstay in the Arsenal side.
Sir Alex’s myriad of signing at Old Trafford include some incredible names, but also some more questionable transfers, and it’s no doubt that these three could’ve made a great addition to his incredibly successful squad.