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Pedro, Bale and Ronaldinho - 13 big signings Man United have missed out on

It won’t make for pretty reading for United fans.

IN LIGHT OF Pedro’s switch to Chelsea and Manchester City’s capture of Nicolas Otamendi, we’ve decided to look back at 13 big-money signings Manchester United missed out on.

Alan Shearer

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United - Ewood Park Source: EMPICS Sport

Shearer famously moved to Blackburn Rovers for a then English record fee of £3.5 million in 1992 but it could have been a whole lot different. The striker has since revealed United were in the running for his signature but never called him back.

Arjen Robben

Soccer - FA Barclays Premiership - West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea Source: EMPICS Sport

The Dutch winger had been linked with a return to the Premier League this summer with Louis van Gaal keen to bring Robben to Old Trafford. Ten years earlier, Robben had been on the verge of joining United but instead opted for a move to Chelsea.

Paul Gascoigne


‘Gazza’ has often admitted he still wonders how his career – and life – would have panned out if he had moved to Man United rather than Tottenham in the summer of 1988.


Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Celtic v Barcelona - Celtic Park Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

After David Beckham had left for Spain, Sir Alex Ferguson looked to bring in a high-profile replacement and it appeared Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho was set to be that player.

However, after agreeing a fee of £20 million with PSG, United proceeded to reduce their offer after hearing Barcelona had bid £18 million for the midfielder. He moved to the Nou Camp shortly after.

John Obi Mikel

Soccer - FA Barclays Premiership - Charlton Athletic v Chelsea - The Valley Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The curious case of John Obi Mikel. Signed from Norwegian club Lyn Oslo, United unveiled their latest acquisition with the player holding the number 21 shirt.

But the Nigerian didn’t play a game for the Red Devils and twelve months later, signed for Chelsea who claimed he’d been forced to sign for United against his wish. The Blues paid £12 million for his services.

Gabriel Batistuta

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2002 - Group F - Argentina v Nigeria Source: EMPICS Sport

This deal was all but done when the then United chairman Martin Edwards intervened because the Argentinian’s wages demands were too high.


Soccer - UEFA Super Cup - Barcelona v Sevilla - Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena Source: EMPICS Sport

The latest in a long line of missed signings after the Barcelona forward moved to Chelsea when a switch from Barcelona to Manchester looked almost inevitable. It appears Ed Woodward was locked in negotiations when the Premier League champions made a late move and triggered his release clause.

Gareth Bale

Spain Soccer Real Madrid Bale Source: AP/Press Association Images

When Bale opted to leave Tottenham two summers ago, United registered their interest but were pipped to his signature by Real Madrid. Have since made enquiries about his availability.

But after he retired, Ferguson revealed Bale has snubbed United for Spurs in 2007.

Sergio Ramos

Soccer - Sergio Ramos File Photo Source: Joe Giddens

The Spanish defender made it clear he wanted out of the Santiago Bernabéu at the start of the summer and Old Trafford was his preferred destination. Ramos has since signed a new five-year deal with the La Liga club.

Nicolas Otamendi

Soccer - Nicolas Otamendi File Photo Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Another blemish on Ed Woodward’s copybook after the highly-rated Valencia defender this afternoon joined United’s Manchester rivals instead. Otamendi was high on Louis van Gaal’s transfer targets.

Mats Hummels

Germany Soccer Champions League Source: Frank Augstein

The saga of the 2014 transfer window saw Hummels heavily linked with United as the story seemingly took a dramatic twist with each passing week. As it happened, the German defender remained at Borussia Dortmund.


Germany Soccer Bundesliga Source: Matthias Schrader

David Moyes wanted a couple of marquee signings in his first transfer window and Thiago was high on the list. The tricky winger instead opted for Bayern Munich to work under his former manager Pep Guardiola.

Leighton Baines

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Sunderland - Goodison Park Source: Barrington Coombs

Moyes wanted to bring Baines with him to Old Trafford in 2013 and it looked to be a dead certainty but Everton didn’t budge and United then tried to bring in Fabio Coentrao at the last minute but a loan deal fell through.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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