Manchester United’s penchant for buying big and becoming a giant in the transfer market certainly started only after Sir Alex Ferguson departed as manager.
Starting with Juan Mata and all the way now to Alexis Sanchez, the club has splashed big over the years, altering the philosophy of nurturing and giving chances to homegrown talents, or those that were bought for cheap or free that the legendary gaffer almost perfected at Old Trafford.
Or did he? Turns out he too, might have caught wind of the needs of the time, and apparently had big names on his mind prior to departing.
Speaking to M.E.N Sport, a former first-team coach under Ferguson, Rene Meulensteen, made a startling revelation. Having already welcomed Shinji Kagawa, who was a stellar player in the Bundesliga, it would seem that Ferguson wanted to dip just a little more into the German market.
“We looked at a few German players like Hummels, who went to Bayern Munich.”
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The defender wasn’t the end of their transfer plans, as Meulensteen continues: “I think we looked at Gundogan and Reus, too. There was a number of players but we never got that specific to really target them.”
However, none of that was to be, as Ferguson finally retired at that point.
Turns out even that was unexpected: “The fact that he was going to retire or finish came to me and a lot of others as a complete bombshell. He was as sharp as ever. He was always an early bird, always arriving early at Carrington. I didn’t read anything in him where it suggested it would be his last season.”
Under Moyes, LVG, and now Mourinho, United’s transfer plans are more along the lines of what has been hinted above.
Going into next season and welcoming yet another transfer window, Mourinho has made it clear that one of the most clear-cut ways for the club to trump cross-city rivals Manchester City will be by trying to outspend them.