Ones that got away: A team of signings Man Utd missed out on
Manchester United, 5/1 with Coral to lift the Premier League, have had a disappointing time in terms of signings recently, with Manchester City swooping for Nicolas Otamendi, and Chelsea pipping them to the post for Pedro.
Those two reported targets are not the first top players the Red Devils, who can be accused of dithering in transfer window at times, have missed out on, however.
Here, Coral experts bring you our starting XI of stars Man Utd, 9/4 to finish outside the top four, let slip through their fingers…
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
United notably overlooked a young Joe Hart before rivals Manchester City eventually snapped him up but, if David de Gea departs this summer or next, allowing Cech to leave Chelsea for Arsenal could be their worst stopper mistake yet.
Right back: Nathaniel Clyne
Sir Alex Ferguson was famously snubbed by Clyne, who opted for regular football with Southampton rather than a squad place, when leaving boyhood club Crystal Palace. Three summers later, the defender then apparently plumped for Anfield over Old Trafford. Will this move work out as well?
Centre back: Sergio Ramos
First links to Mats Hummels came up short, before a very public chase of Real Madrid skipper Ramos left the Red Devils with egg on their face, and a lack of alternatives, as he predictably penned a new deal.
Centre back: Nicolas Otamendi
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) August 20, 2015
United’s ill-fated determination to land Ramos saw bullish Otamendi, widely regarded as the Red Devils’ back-up plan, snaffled by City while Louis van Gaal wasn’t looking. Could this be a season-defining error?
Left back: Fabio Coentrao
In 2013, the Mancunians were left blushing after a late loan bid for the Real Madrid full back, on deadline day no less, fell through at the last minute. Failure to secure Leighton Baines in the fist place led to the disorganised scramble.
Central midfield: Cesc Fabregas
Try as he might, David Moyes could not tempt Fabregas to Old Trafford, despite the Spaniard flirting with a move in a long 2013 summer saga. Barcelona, of course, retained their man, only for Chelsea to steal him a season later. Ouch.
Central midfield: Thiago Alcantara
This transfer seemed all but sewn-up, yet Man Utd were once again left red-faced by failure to complete a deal quickly, which saw the youngster join former coach Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich instead.
Attacking midfield: Ronaldinho
Old Trafford was alight in 2003, with rumours that Brazil superstar Ronaldinho was to arrive from PSG, yet there were reports of poor negotiating with the Parisians, and the trickster eventually headed to Camp Nou instead. The rest is history.
Right forward: Pedro
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 20, 2015
Can the Red Devils really have wanted Pedro? It appears United kept haggling over pocket change, allowing transfer market masters Chelsea to step in and act decisively. Just watch Pedro make Man Utd rue their hesitancy now.
Centre forward: Alan Shearer
Ferguson only found frustration is his pursuit of striker Shearer. The prolific poacher first chose Blackburn Rovers over the Mancunians, later snubbing Old Trafford again in favor of hometown team Newcastle United. As he went on to become a local legend, the decision did not turn out too badly.
Left forward: Gareth Bale
Another who apparently resisted a switch to United twice, Bale preferred to take his opportunities at Tottenham, rather than risk falling through the cracks with the Premier League giants.
Having reached his ceiling with Spurs, the Wales talisman then turned down the chance to emulate compatriot Ryan Giggs to become Real Madrid’s world-record signing, going on to win the Champions League.