Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed how the club were thwarted in their attempts to sign footballers who have gone on to achieve tremendous success – including Thomas MA?ller, Brazil legend Ronaldo, and Real Madrid centre-back Rapha l Varane


Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed an impressive list of names that the Premier League giants missed out on in his latest book, ‘Leading’. In a list that contains players past and present, some of world football’s most famous names stand out, including the likes of Thomas MA?ller, Luiz Ronaldo and Rapha l Varane.

That the Scotsman was so successful despite missing out on these names is a testament to his managerial ability, and in particular, his ability to get the best out of players one would not normally place in the ‘world class’ category.


Sir Alex Ferguson reveals the big names Manchester United missed out on

England’s Mail Online have published excerpts from former Manchester United manager’s latest book, ‘Leading’, in which the 73-year-old revealed the names of several huge players the club missed out on over the years.

Regarding Bayern Munich star Thomas MA?ller, Ferguson writes: “a Thomas MA?ller, who scored five goals for Germany in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, was a 10-year-old playing for an amateur team several miles from Munich when we first heard about him. We had him watched and the following day he committed himself to Bayern Munich.”

Although one Ronaldo made his name at Manchester United, the Red Devils’ could have played a part in developing two of the greatest players of their generations. On Ronaldo Lu s NazA?rio de Lima, the book reads: “a We wanted to sign the Brazilian striker from Cruzeiro in 1994, but we could not get a work permit and he went to PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson has revealed Manchester United were preparing an offer to sign France international Rapha l Varane, before the intervention of a certain Zinedine Zidane allowed Real Madrid to swoop in and sign the centre-half.

An excerpt from the book reads: “In 2011, I hurtled down on the train from Euston to Lille to sign the young French defender Raphael Varane. David Gill was getting into the finer points of the contract with Lens, Varanea s club, when Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up for Real Madrid from under our noses.

“I dona t think Jos Mourinho, who was managing Real Madrid, had even seen Varane play.”

Would the present-day Manchester United be more successful in signing players?

Other than the three players mentioned, Sir Alex Ferguson also reveals Manchester United could have signed the likes of Petr A?ech, Didier Drogba, Sergio AgA?ero and Lucas Moura. Among those, Drogba, AgA?ero and Moura who were signed by the likes of Chelsea FC, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, were simple deemed too expensive by Ferguson and United.

Since then, Manchester United have continued to grow — particularly the commercial revenue under the supervision of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward — and are one of the most powerful clubs on the planet in a financial sense.

The Red Devils have smashed the club record twice since Ferguson’s departure, and were prepared to do it a third time, if reports of a mammoth bid for Thomas MA?ller are to be believed. It appears as though any economic conservatism has gone out the window, with United prepared to meet demand of most clubs, players and agents.

As such, there is little doubt that the modern-day Manchester United are unlikely to miss out of any of their targets because of financial restraint. If the club had operated (or was in a position to operate) similarly in the past, they could well have denied Chelsea FC and Manchester City their greatest strikers in history.