In his latest book 'Leading', Sir Alex Ferguson discusses a number of targets he tried and failed to sign for Manchester United.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the players that got away from the Scot.
Ferguson developed one Ronaldo into a star, and had he got his way, he would have coached another one too. Ferguson wanted to sign the Brazilian Ronaldo when he was at Cruzeiro in 1994, but United were unable to get a work permit and the striker signed for PSV Eindhoven instead.
United scouted Cech while he was at Rennes in 2003 but decided against bidding for the then 21-year-old goalkeeper because he thought he was "a bit young for the bruisers of the Premier League," according to Ferguson. The following year Cech signed for Chelsea and then went on to become one of the Premier League's greatest ever goalkeepers.
Before the start of Ferguson's final year in charge, United were interested in signing the Brazilian from Sao Paulo, Ferguson reveals. The former United manager says Paris St Germain bid £45million - £10million more than he was offering - and the forward went to the French club instead.
Ferguson admits his indecision meant United lost out to Chelsea in the hunt for Drogba. United scouted the player while he was at Marseille. While Ferguson contemplated whether the £25million fee was good value, Chelsea met the asking price and he went to Stamford Bridge.
Ferguson reveals Muller signed a deal with Bayern Munich the day after United started watching him as a 10-year-old.
United were priced out of a move for the Argentinian, who instead joined Manchester City from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011. "His agent was demanding a price we were not prepared to pay," Ferguson said.
A United "discussion document" on "squad composition" from a 2004 board meeting is included in Ferguson's book. Among the list of potential defensive targets is Kompany, who was playing for Anderlecht at the time. The defender now, of course, captains United's local rivals, City.
Ferguson says he "hurtled" down to Lille to talk with the French defender in 2011, but United ended up being thwarted in their attempts to sign the player. "(Real Madrid ambassador) Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up," Ferguson writes.