Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Manchester United were ‘never interested’ in signing Wesley Sneijder during his time at the club, as he opened up on his regret at not acquiring Paul Gascoigne.
The Scotsman’s stellar 26-year spell in charge of the Red Devils saw the club linked with a whole host of high profile names, particularly in the final few years of his reign, with a plethora of world-class talent were claimed to be close to joining the club.
It is often hard, however, to separate between fact and faction when it comes to transfer rumours, none more so than in the case of Wesley Sneijder, the Dutchman frequently cropping up in the transfer gossip columns with rumours of a move to Old Trafford rife year after year, with no such deal ever taking place.
The now-retired playmaker had arguably been one of the best players in the world just over a decade ago, notably playing a starring role in Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan side that clinched the treble in the 2009/10 season, including winning the Champions League after victory over Bayern Munich in the final.
The former Real Madrid man was repeatedly linked with a move to Manchester United prior to and during his three-year stint at the San Siro, although Ferguson has now revealed that the club ‘were never interested’ in signing the player.
“Well, you mention the boy Sneijder, that’s come up a lot of times but we were never interested in Sneijder,” he told the UTD podcast.
“I don’t know where that came from but you get a lot of them. Every Sunday, in The People, when I first came, they were throwing names in all the time, you know.”
While Sneijder was not a player Ferguson was interested in, it’s no secret that the now 79-year-old tried to take Paul Gascoigne to the club back in 1988. The Scot has regularly discussed his desire to sign the Newcastle native, and he has reiterated his belief that the former England international could have had a ‘better career’ had he not moved to Tottenham instead.
“In reality, you have to say, the only one that always comes to my mind and that’s Gascoigne,” Ferguson admitted. “He was absolutely fantastic. I think if we’d have got him, he would have had a great career, I really do. I’m not saying he didn’t have a good career but he would have had a better career with us.
“We had Geordies in our squad like Robson, Bruce plus Bobby Charlton. Sir Bobby would have been a fantastic mentor to him because he’s such a fantastic man and even Gary Pallister, although he was from Middlesbrough and I know they don’t count that as a Geordie, as someone who understands the culture like Gary would. He promised to sign for us and I went on holiday.
“I got a phone-call from the front desk from Martin Edwards saying he’d signed for Tottenham. He signed for Tottenham because they bought his mother a house for £80,000 and, dearie me, I couldn’t believe it, you know. He was a fantastic player.”