Thursday 17 August 2017

The 11 transfers Manchester United have missed out on in the Ed Woodward era

Pedro is just the latest missed opportunity in the two years since chief executive Ed Woodward took over control of transfers at Old Trafford. Who else have United missed out on since 2013?

1. Leighton Baines (summer 2013)

It looked like a formality that Baines would follow his old manager David Moyes to Old Trafford, but Everton held strong and the left-back went nowhere.

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Leighton Baines has once again been sidelined by ankle issues

2. Thiago Alcantara (summer 2013)

United made enquiries about the then Barcelona midfielder, but lost out to Bayern Munich where Thiago's former mentor Pep Guardiola had just taken over.

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Thomas Muller celebrates

3. Cesc Fabregas (summer 2013)

Another Barcelona midifelder United missed out on two years ago. This one looked like a dead cert but the Spaniard decided to stay in Catalonia and fight for his place. A year later he signed for Chelsea.

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Cesc Fabregas believes Chelsea can retain their title

4. Gareth Bale (summer 2013)

Bale made it clear in the summer of 2013 that he was leaving Spurs, so the only question that remained was his destination. Manchester United tried to pip Real Madrid to his signature, but the winger opted for the Spanish capital where he won the Champions League in his first season. United have since enquired about the player's availability, but Bale has continued to spurn their advances.

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Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring the second goal for Real Madrid

5. Blaise Matuidi (summer 2013)

Then assistant manager Phil Neville revealed that in the summer of 2013, Moyes was keen to prise the winger away from Paris. Matuidi though could not be persuaded to leave and instead signed a new contract with the French champions.

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Barcelona's Luis Suarez in action with PSG's Blaise Matuidi

6. Mats Hummels (summer 2014)

An ongoing saga throughout last summer that veered between 'rumour', 'likely' and 'done deal'. In the end, Hummels stayed put, and thousands upon thousands of articles about the defender turned out to be innacurate. Who would have thought it?

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Matts Hummels

7. Toni Kroos (summer 2014)

It still seems unfathomable that Real Madrid were able to sign Toni Kroos for just £24m last summer, but that's what happened as a contractual dispute with Bayern Munich meant the German side was keen to cash in. Manchester United were also in the picture, but were once again edged out of a transfer by Real.

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Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos

8. Cristiano Ronaldo (summer 2014)

When former Real president Ramon Calderon said last August that Ronaldo would welcome a return to Old Trafford, the internet pretty much exploded. In the end though it turned out to be a lot of hot air, and Ronaldo remained a Real player.

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Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid discusses what makes him tick off the pitch

9. Sergio Ramos (summer 2015)

The phrase 'played like a fiddle' has scarcely been more appropriate. Woodward was led to believe that a deal might be possible, but in the end it appeared that Ramos was using United's interest as leverage for a new contract. The right-back got his wish, earning a lucrative deal until 2020. Chapeau Sergio.

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Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos

10. Nicolas Otamendi (summer 2015)

United were heavily linked with the centre-back all summer, but lost out in the end to noisy neighbours Manchester City.

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Nicolas Otamendi has joined Manchester City from Valencia

11. Pedro (summer 2015)

One of the great gazumpings of our time. While Woodward haggled over a couple of million, in swooped Chelsea and triggered the Spaniard's release clause. Cue Twitter outrage at the club's beleaguered chief executive.

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Pedro is a Chelsea player

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