Football News

Revealed: Three players Man Utd tried and failed to sign for David Moyes

By Ben Green

Published: 12:35, 19 March 2019

Former Manchester United manager David Moyes has revealed which three players he tried and failed to sign throughout his short tenure at the club.

Moyes took over from club legend Sir Alex Ferguson in 2014 but lasted less than 12 months before being sacked as United manager in 2015.

Moyes reflects on what could have been: Five things you need to know…

  1. Following Ferguson’s retirement, Moyes left long-term home Everton to take over at Old Trafford in 2014.
  2. His arrival marked a new era for Man Utd, who failed to win in their opening four games of the season, including a 4-0 EFL Cup loss to MK Dons.
  3. United didn’t win an away game until late November, with the Red Devils nowhere near at serious Premier League title challenge.
  4. Following defeat away to former side Everton, Moyes was relieved of his duties as Manchester United manager.
  5. Moyes has now revealed which players came close to joining the club during his reign.

Speaking on beIN SPORTS, Moyes discussed his tenure at United, which often came under criticism – especially his activity in the transfer market.

His only summer transfer window at the club saw United sign just one player as Moyes linked up with former Toffee Marouane Fellaini, who joined the club on transfer deadline day.

However, Moyes has now revealed that several football superstars came close to joining the Old Trafford club, with Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Cesc Fabregas all players who Moyes believes came close to joining Manchester United.

Moyes said: “Marouane Fellaini was to be part of a group of players to come in.

“By the time we got to the end of the transfer window, we always thought we had a chance of getting Gareth Bale.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

“We hoped we could talk him out of going to Real Madrid because it was already half done. We had offered more money, we tried to entice him. We did [have a helicopter ready] and we tried.

“Cesc Fabregas was very close. I spoke to him and hoped to bring him Barcelona. But this is management and we all have lots of hard-luck stories.”

“I had met Toni Kroos during the season and agreed he would come to Manchester United before he went to Real Madrid, but somewhere in there I lost my job, and he went somewhere else.”

So close yet so far for Moyes

No-one could have predicted the Scotsman’s career path after he decided to swap Goodison Park for Old Trafford. Just 10 months into his five-year-contract, Moyes was sacked.

From there, Moyes moved to Spain to become the manager of La Liga outfit Real Sociedad. However, after just one year in the job – winning just 12 of 42 games in charge – Moyes was once again relieved of his duties.

Next up was a move back to England to manage struggling Sunderland, who had flirted with relegation from the Premier League for countless seasons.

But Moyes did not last long as Sunderland were relegated with just eight wins for Moyes out of 43 matches in charge, a win percentage of just 18.6%.

Moyes restored a little credit to his name during a brief stint at West Ham, but still ended up leaving the club prematurely.

Football can be a tough place to sustain a consistent career and the smallest decision could have the biggest consequence. Time will tell whether Moyes gets another opportunity to redeem his reputation.