The ideal eleven of footballers who almost signed for Manchester United

Terry and Cech chose Chelsea over Manchester | Clive Mason / Getty Images

Through the ranks of Manchester United great names in the history of this sport have passed but that number could still have increased. The Red Devils tried to sign great players who, for one reason or another, never landed at Old Trafford. With all those players who never arrived, an eleven guarantees could be made. Let’s see who the chosen ones are.

Petr CechPetr Cech
Alex Ferguson rejected the signing of Cech | Paul Gilham / Getty Images

The Czech goalkeeper stood out in his first season with Stade Rennais back in 2002 and Manchester United asked about him. However, Alex Ferguson backed down and after trying Chelsea, in 2004 he packed his bags for Stamford Bridge where he became one of the best goalkeepers in the world. In 209 he announced his retirement, however he was registered as a Chelsea player for this season in case there were any losses due to the Coronavirus.

Thomas millerThomas miller
Thomas Meunier terminated contract with PSG | DeFodi Images / Getty Images

Thomas Meuner ended his contract with PSG on June 30 and several teams in Europe, including Manchester United, were on the hunt to take the winger for free. Finally, the player chose to accept Borussia Dortmund’s proposal.

John Terry could have been a Manchester United legend. Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign him when he was just a youth squad at West Ham but failed to convince the player’s family. Finally Terry signed for Chelsea where he was for 17 seasons.

Matthijs De LigtMatthijs De Ligt
United have knocked on De Ligt’s door twice | Soccrates Images / Getty Images

Matthijs de Ligt has a lot of future ahead of him and Manchester United may still have a new opportunity to sign him, but they did not take the first opportunity. The Red Devils have had, and continue to have, serious problems in defense and Marcel Bout recommended the signing of De Ligt. Mourinho, who at the time was Manchester’s coach, had the young Dutchman as his first option in defense, but Bout himself told the club that De Ligt had a tendency to gain weight and therefore they ruled out his signing by betting on Harry Maguire.

A year later United returned to the charge and offered the player a contract of 65 million for 5 seasons, but the Dutchman said no and ended up signing for Juventus.

Philipp LahmPhilipp Lahm
Philipp Lahm stayed loyal to Bayern | Giuseppe Bellini / Getty Images

For years several clubs showed their interest in Philipp Lahm and the German player considered the proposal made by the English team. However the player decided to renew his contract with Bayern: “There was a time when Manchester United contacted me. The Premier League was an interesting possibility, but in the end I decided to stay in Germany,” the player confessed.

Michael EssienMichael Essien
United knocked twice on Essien’s door | Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

The Manchester United train passed twice for Michael Essien but did not get on any of them. The former Ghanaian player ended up signing for Chelsea where he played for eight seasons in which he lifted nine titles.

Liverpool's English midfielder Steven GeLiverpool's English midfielder Steven Ge
Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool legend | PAUL ELLIS / Getty Images

Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool legend but he could have been a Manchester United legend. In 2004 the player was not comfortable at Anfield and United tried to sign him but the negotiations did not come to fruition.

Paul GascoignePaul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne is one of the greats of English football | Getty Images / Getty Images

Paul Gascogine, one of the great players that English football has given, was on the radar of the Red Devils. Sir Alex Ferguson became interested in the midfielder when he was playing for Tottenham but he decided to accept the offer from Newcastle because, among other reasons, they paid him more.

Claudio Villa ArchiveClaudio Villa Archive
Zidane preferred Juventus over Manchester | Claudio Villa / Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane stood out at Girondins de Bordeaux and Eric Cantona recommended Alex Ferguson his signing. The Scotsman listened to him and met with the French player, but the coach could not promise him a place in the starting lineup and Zizuo opted to sign for Juventus.

Sir Alex Ferguson of Man Utd with RonaldinhoSir Alex Ferguson of Man Utd with Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho preferred to sign for FC Barcelona | Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

In 2003 David Beckham left Manchester United to sign for Real Madrid and the English team chose Ronaldinho as his replacement. In fact, the Brazilian, who was playing for PSG at the time, already had a number to play for United but in the end he chose to go to FC Barcelona.

Alan Shearer of England celebrates after scoring his first goal off the nightAlan Shearer of England celebrates after scoring his first goal off the night
Alan Shearer, top scorer in the Premier | Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

Alan Shearer, the all-time top scorer in the Premier League, was able to join Manchester United in 1996. Sir Alex Ferguson tried to convince him but it was not enough and the forward opted for Newcastle.

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