Manchester United is one of the world’s most prestigious football clubs. The Red Devils’ illustrious history and pedigree make them one of the most enticing destinations for the game’s best players.
Manchester United has always been known for developing prodigious talent through their youth academy. However, the club has never been afraid to spend big money on some of the best players in the world.
To name a few, the 13-time Premier League champions have spent a lot of money on Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria, and Paul Pogba.
Five big-name players who turned down Manchester United’s offer
During his time with Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas was widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. After eight years with Arsenal, the Barcelona youth academy product returned to Barcelona in a £35 million deal in 2011.
Cesc Fabregas has been linked with a return to the Premier League on several occasions. The Spaniard was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City and Manchester United in the summer of 2014. Manchester United famously attempted three times to sign the Spanish midfielder but were unsuccessful each time.
During his time with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, the German midfielder rose to prominence.
Toni Kroos’ outstanding performances for Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup drew the attention of several top European clubs. He eventually joined Real Madrid, winning three Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles with the club.
Kroos was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United before joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2014. Prior to his dismissal, the midfielder reportedly spoke with then-Manchester United manager David Moyes and agreed to join the Scot at Old Trafford.
Gareth Bale, a Manchester United target, was widely regarded as one of the top ten players in the world during his final three seasons at Tottenham Hotspur.
He was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2011 and 2013. Bale won the PFA Young Player of the Year award, the FWA Footballer of the Year award, and the Premier League Player of the Season award in 2013.
In the summer of 2013, the Welshman was heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid. Manchester United, on the other hand, attempted to sabotage Los Blancos’ acquisition of the winger. Bale was reportedly offered more money by the club, but the Tottenham striker was set on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Prior to his move to Barcelona in 2003, Ronaldinho played for Paris Saint-Germain in France. The Brazilian maestro was on his way to becoming one of the game’s all-time great players.
Ronaldinho was reportedly close to joining Manchester United, but the deal fell through after the English club and the superstar’s agent couldn’t agree on terms.
Paul Scholes, a former Manchester United midfielder, claimed that the club was “very close” to signing Ronaldinho. Former Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon was later blamed by Sir Alex Ferguson for the club’s loss of Ronaldinho to Barcelona.
Alan Shearer was one of the most prolific goal scorers in Premier League history. The Englishman still holds the record for scoring the most Premier League goals (260). During his time with Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, he made a name for himself.
The striker is also known for turning down two offers from Manchester United. Shearer turned down Manchester United’s advances before joining Blackburn Rovers, and he also declined to join Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford before joining Newcastle.