Plans have a tendency to go awry, and once they do, one can just look back and lament. This is often the case in the business side of football, with deals falling apart in the last minute, and long-held dreams crashing when one least expects it.
Despite that, the plans that backroom staff holds for the future of their clubs, particularly with regard to transfers, can often make big news when revealed in retrospect.
Such a saga has been unveiled by former Manchester United scout Javier Ribalta, whose brief tenure at Old Trafford, pinned with much hope, came to an end when he moved to Zenit to become their chief scout earlier this year.
However, he has now revealed a stark possibility for the Mancunian giants.
As per Tuttosport (via Football Italia), Ribalta would have liked to bring two brilliant midfielders to Old Trafford, as he is reported to have stated: “As for my time in Manchester, I was only there for a year but I’d have liked to sign Emre Can and [Leon] Goretzka on free transfers.”
Can, who ran down his contract with Liverpool, went on to sign for Juventus, Ribalta’s former long-term employers.
The likelihood of a deal being struck between United and Can, considering the bitter rivalry between the Mancunian giants and Liverpool, would have certainly been slim, although reports did do the rounds earlier on in the year that United were interested.
As for the 23-year-old Goretzka, the Schalke tenure ending saw him move to German giants Bayern Munich instead. These deals were ambitious, to say the least, but one is left to wonder as to how adept United would have been tactically if the duo had been signed.
Then again, such was the potential and hope pinned on Ribalta, who was expected to overhaul the Red Devils’ scouting system, and is believed to have made significant changes despite his short time at Old Trafford.