Manchester United had the opportunity to sign Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric before he made a sensational move to Los Blancos from Tottenham.
Modric enjoyed four superb years at White Hart Lane, where he began to enhance his reputation as one of the world’s best midfielders.
His standing in people’s eyes has only gone a notch higher since moving to Spain, with the 37-year-old now widely considered one of the greatest midfield players of all time along with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Zinedine Zidane.
Since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu, Modric has racked up an impressive 454 appearances and won five champions leagues.
However, his career could have taken another turn according to United legend Rio Ferdinand.
Ferdinand disclosed on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel that he tried to convince Modric to join United when his time in North London came to an end – something Modric was extremely open to and willing to accept.
Ferdinand explained that the prospect of becoming the first Croatian to play for the Red Devils enticed the Ballon d’Or winner to great extent.
The former United defender said, “I remember speaking to him [Modric], I said, ‘Are you leaving [Tottenham]?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I think I’m going to go’ but he wasn’t sure at the time where. I said, ‘Listen, you’ve got to come to United, man.”
“He [Modric] said: Yeah, listen, I want to be the first Croatian to play for Man United. I want to be that guy, can we make it happen? But it didn’t happen.”
“I spoke to David Gill and the manager [Sir Alex] at the time had already agreed with Shinji Kagawa I think it was – I think that was the year, I’m sure it was. ”
The 20-time English champions sealed a £17m deal for Shinji Kagawa in 2012.
The Japanese never found his feet at Old Trafford and was even considered by some within the United fanbase to be a flop. Kagawa eventually returned to Dortmund just two years later for a paltry £6.5m fee.