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Discussion Starter #1
The Reds boss has signed some gems in his time, but here is a selection of the players he missed out on.

21: John Hartson - Not a Ferguson target, but might well have ended up at United had Brian Kidd and Martin Edwards got their way. After Arsenal's slick football had seen them move into the ascendancy in 1998, the direct style of Hartson was deemed United's best response. Ferguson baulked at the suggestion - quashing the move, signing Dwight Yorke and winning the treble.

20: Jon Obi Mikel - United made the best part of £8m on the Nigerian who never played a single game for the club. But the £16m Chelsea paid to resolve the controversial midfielder's contract dispute might still end up looking a bargain.

19: David Ginola - Despite winning the title at a canter in 2000 and 2001, Ferguson thought Ginola - then nearing the twilight of his career at Tottenham - could add some guile to United in Europe.

18: Terry Butcher - Though Ferguson didn't try to sign him at United, one of the first questions he asked when arriving at Old Trafford in 86 was why the England defender had been allowed to leave Ipswich for Rangers earlier that year.

17: Laurent Blanc - The languid French defender eventually signed in 2001 - but at 36 he was a shadow of the player he'd been throughout his career. Ferguson tried and failed a number of times to get him at his peak, which explains why he was so desperate to bring him to Old Trafford even when he was so clearly past his best.

16: David Hirst - In 92 Hirst was as sought-after as Alan Shearer and one of the two strikers Ferguson had identified as being capable of firing United to the title. But whereas Southampton welcomed offers for Shearer, Sheffield Wednesday simply wouldn't budge over Hirst. Given his subsequent injuries, it's probably just as well.

15: Paolo Di Canio - With United's bid for a fourth successive title in 2002 faltering - Ferguson moved to freshen up his attack. He signed Diego Forlan, but thought controversial Italian Di Canio would give his side an extra dimension. His failure to offload Yorke, ultimately meant he had to shelve plans for the West Ham man.

14: Brian Laudrup - When Eric Cantona hung up his boots in 97, Laudrup was seen as the perfect replacement following his outstanding performances for Rangers. With the move south of the border all but sealed, the Dane decided stay in Scotland for another year, prompting United to turn their attentions to Teddy Sheringham.

13: Matt Le Tissier - The move that never was. The Southampton talisman's maverick abilities meant he was long seen as the natural successor to Eric Cantona, but ended up spending his entire career at the Dell.

12: Patrick Kluivert - After seeing Arsenal overtake United in 98, Ferguson set his sights on adding firepower. He targeted Yorke and Kluivert. In the end he had to settle for Yorke, whose partnership with Andy Cole spearheaded the treble success the following season.

11: Arjen Robben - The flying Dutchman's move to United was all but sealed midway through the 2003-4 season as Ferguson began building his latest generation at Old Trafford. But disputes over his price allowed Chelsea to steal in for the electric winger, who would go on to star in their title-winning campaign the following season.

10: Marcello Salas - After extensive scouting by Martin Ferguson in 97, United looked all set to move for the then unknown Chilean striker, who would be eligible to play in the second half of that season's Champions' League campaign. But with Cole and Sheringham filling their boots at the time and United looking set to win a third successive title at a canter, Ferguson could not justify the move to the Old Trafford board. Soon after the goals dried up, United limped out of Europe and relinquished the title to Arsenal to prompt a frantic summer search for a new hit man.

9: Mick Harford - Most United fans would hardly consider the lanky striker, who spent the best part of his career at Luton, much of a loss. But Ferguson believes he would have been the difference between winning and losing the title to Leeds in 92.

8: Stan Collymore - Midway through the 94-95 season Ferguson wanted to freshen up a strike force that had led United to back-to-back titles and identified Collymore (below) as the man. But when he tried to negotiate a deal with Nottingham Forest, Frank Clark refused to take his calls. He ended up moving on to his second choice, Andy Cole, who went on to score 121 goals for the club - winning eight major trophies.

7: Alan Shearer - Ferguson first tried to sign Shearer when he was a precocious goal scorer at Southampton in 92. Fresh from allowing Leeds to pip United to the title, he was looking for a prolific striker to play off Mark Hughes and Brian McClair. But deterred by Shearer's apparent preoccupation with money, the forward went on to sign for Blackburn for a British transfer record £3.6m. It turned out not to be such a loss with Cantona signing a few months later.

6: Peter Beardsley - Ferguson wanted to sign the Newcastle forward, who had once been at United on loan, when beginning his rebuilding of United in 87, but baulked at the £3m asking price. So it was understandable that he was so infuriated when Beardsley went to Liverpool for £1.9m that same year.

5: John Barnes - Then at Watford, Barnes was generally accepted as one of the country's finest talents. Ferguson though had already committed Jesper Olsen to a long-term deal and opted against pursuing his interest in the winger, who went on to become a pivotal part of Liverpool's title-winning sides of 88 and 90. He later admitted that was one of his greatest regrets.

4: Zinedine Zidane - Ferguson thought long and hard about making a move for the Gallic genius when he was a little-known playmaker at Bordeaux. But doubts about how to incorporate him in a team that already included Cantona convinced him to pass up the opportunity.

3: Ronaldinho - Having sold David Beckham to Real Madrid in the summer of 2003, Ferguson was looking for a new icon for his team and was determined to land the brilliant Brazilian Ronaldinho. But despite being at the front of the queue for the Paris St Germain playmaker, United somehow conspired to blow the deal, allowing Barcelona to snap him up and promptly return to the summit of European football.

2: Paul Gascoigne - Ferguson went on holiday in 88 believing he'd secured the signing of the most exciting English talent in recent memory. Relaxing by the hotel pool, a message over the tannoy told him he had a phone call. It was Martin Edwards. Gascoigne had just signed for Tottenham.

1: Alan Shearer - After being burned once over the England hit man, Ferguson was certain he'd get his man when going back in for Shearer in 96. The striker had starred at Euro 96, while United were on the back of their second double in three years. It looked like the perfect match. Shearer, though, threw a spanner in the works when signing for Newcastle for a world record £15m. United still went on to win the title.

Source: Manchester Evening News
 

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If a lot of these guys had come in then we wouldnt have had some of our other great players. Would have loved to have seen Zidane or Ronaldihno in a United shirt though. Le Tissier, Gazza and Shearer would have made a difference as well even though Le Tiss was a lazy git.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We didnt get Ronaldinho so Fergie went for a young lad from Sporting Lisbon called C. Ronaldo so i think it worked out very well with that one!

Zidane would have been amazing for us, I think if me got Zidane our European Cup tally would have been a lot higher!

Its gona be three come May!
 

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ARBUCKS said:
We didnt get Ronaldinho so Fergie went for a young lad from Sporting Lisbon called C. Ronaldo so i think it worked out very well with that one!

Zidane would have been amazing for us, I think if me got Zidane our European Cup tally would have been a lot higher!

Its gona be three come May!
i've heard a lot of people say if we got ronaldinho we wouldn't of got ronaldo :confused: but i've seen interviews with fergie where he's said they had already planned to buy ronaldo for some time we just got him a season early
 

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Zidane nice.....

Ronaldhino nice.......

Shearer, lol......if he came to United we would have had no King Eric !!

Who was more inspirational and charismatic ?

Eric for me.......:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Eric was already at the club when Fergie wanted to buy Shearer, So Eric would have been at the club if we brought Shearer or not.
 

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ARBUCKS said:
Eric was already at the club when Fergie wanted to buy Shearer, So Eric would have been at the club if we brought Shearer or not.
Yes I mean when Shearer left Southampton in 1992 - Fergie try hard
then to get him - but Cantona comes instead when ~Shearer says no to fergie :)
 

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The biggest shame about not signing Zidane is that a year later Cantona retired so there wouldn't have been a problem fitting him into the team.

I still think that Shearer regrets not joining Man United more than he lets on. He certainly regrets it more than we did - we got Ole Gunnar Solskjaer!
 

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you mentioned alan shearer twice :p
and i didn't know ferguson wanted zidane, it would have been amazing having him at old trafford
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Shearer was mentioned twice as Fergie tried twice to sign once at Southampton and then at Blackburn
 

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waxo10 said:
you mentioned alan shearer twice :p
and i didn't know ferguson wanted zidane, it would have been amazing having him at old trafford


good observation.......but it was the chance to sign him at two different times I think...
 

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I dug this thread up......
It's mad to see some of the names we so nearly signed.....

Any discussion? Any players you really wished we had snapped up?
 

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Jazz 16 said:
I dug this thread up......
It's mad to see some of the names we so nearly signed.....

Any discussion? Any players you really wished we had snapped up?
It depends, if you look at some of Fergies signings instead of those players, you cant complain....



Also, why isnt Essien on that list?
He was on a trial, and Fergie liked him, but he let him slip away to Lyon and now Chelsea...
 

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The only 2 there i wish we had gotten, were Ronaldinho & Zidane. Both of them have written their names into Football History...They could have been part of our history too..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Zidane i wld have loved to have seen him in an United shirt..... Maybe there may be more european stars!
 

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thedude said:
It depends, if you look at some of Fergies signings instead of those players, you cant complain....



Also, why isnt Essien on that list?
He was on a trial, and Fergie liked him, but he let him slip away to Lyon and now Chelsea...

I agree with your first point completely.


Essien should be on the list too but I didnt compile it ;)

Obviously Zidane is the big one there. I would have loved to have seen him play
at OT. Ronaldihno was a close one too, but I think Shearer was the big miss.
Even though he is a right (bad words) ;)
Im convinced that if he was a United player in the mid 90's we would have won
in Europe a bit more. He was the best striker around at the time by far,
so he would have made a big difference.
 

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wow what a coincidence, just read this thread and then i turn sky sports news on and Ferguson's talking about how Gazza was one of his biggest regrets - not getting him.

for me it's Zidane and Ronaldinho. Just imagine if we got Ronaldinho and we kept him fit and in form till this day with Ronaldinho on the left wing and Ronaldo on the right!
 
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