Sir Alex Ferguson has set the record straight on two playmaking midfielders Manchester United were heavily linked with during his near 27 years at the helm.
Sir Alex claims the club were never interested in Dutchman Wesley Sneijder despite years of speculation, but does state he regrets not signing Paul Gascoigne.
Sneijder was one of the most talented attacking midfielders of his generation, playing for the likes of Ajax, Real Madrid and Inter Milan before winding down his career with spells at Galatasaray, Nice and Al-Gharafa.
He won 20 trophies during his 17-year career, perhaps most notably being a key component in Inter Milan’s treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League in 2009/10.
But Fergie, while speaking to the UTD Podcast, says he was never on his radar at Old Trafford:
“Well, you mention the boy Sneijder, that’s come up a lot of times, but we were never interested in Sneijder.”
“I don’t know where that came from, but you get a lot of them. Every Sunday, in The People, when I first came, they were throwing names in all the time, you know.”
While the Sneijder rumours may have been generated by the papers one player he was definitely interested in was Gascoigne.
Famously, United had agreed a deal with Newcastle for him in the summer of 1988, only for the Geordie livewire to change his mind at the last minute after Tottenham offered him a house, a car and a sunbed for his sister.
“I’m not saying he didn’t have a good career, but he would have had a better career with us.” Fergie said of ‘Gazza’.
“We had Geordies in our squad like [Bryan] Robson, [Steve] Bruce plus Bobby Charlton.”
“Sir Bobby would have been a fantastic mentor to him because he’s such a fantastic man and even Gary Pallister, although he was from Middlesbrough and I know they don’t count that as a Geordie, as someone who understands the culture like Gary would.”
If any man could’ve got a hold of Gazza and turned his troubled off-field life around you’d back Sir Alex to be that man. Oh, what could have been.