8 players that Sir Alex Ferguson almost signed for Manchester United

The ex-Manchester United manager's new book reveals the ones who got away

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The Independent Online

Sir Alex Ferguson's new book Leading not only reveals the secrets behind the former Manchester United manager's success, but also lifts the lid on the transfers that nearly were.

The legendary Scottish manager has previously told us how close he came to signing Paul Gascoigne. Ferguson was packing his holiday suitcase, concerned that the deal may not go through without him, when the lovable midfield maestro told him to "go and enjoy yourself, I'll be signing for Manchester United." Gascoigne changed his mind and moved to Tottenham Hotspur days later.

While that deal most disappointed him, the player he really wishes he'd signed Alan Shearer. The Old Trafford club's interest was no secret during the mid-1990s, but the then-Blackburn Rovers striker confounded all expectations and signed for his boyhood club Newcastle United in a world-record deal.

The fruitless pursuits of Ronaldinho, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard are all well-known too, but here are eight players, according to the new book, that Ferguson also nearly brought to Old Trafford, with explanations from the man himself as to why they didn't quite work out.

Click on the gallery below to see the ones who got away

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