Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Emmanuel Adebayor tried to drum up interest from Manchester United and Chelsea before completing his £25m switch to Manchester City.
The Togo star linked up with City on their recent tour to South Africa after becoming the latest big name to join the Eastlands revolution.
However, there was a delay before Adebayor completed his move from Arsenal.
And, according to Ferguson, that was to allow the striker time to see if there was an alternative.
"When someone offers you that kind of money, it is a big attraction," Ferguson said.
"That is the reason they have gone there. At the last minute, from what I can gather, either Emmanuel Adebayor or his agent phoned us after they had agreed a deal with City and then did the same with Chelsea. He was desperate to get to either Chelsea or us."
Ferguson is clearly unimpressed by City, especially their high-profile poster of Carlos Tevez and the caption 'Carlos Tevez. Welcome to Manchester' emphasising the fact United is in the Salford boundary, leaving City as Manchester's true club.
"It's City isn't it?" said Ferguson.
"They are a small club with a small mentality.
"All they can talk about is Manchester United; they can't get away from it.
"They think taking Carlos Tevez away from Manchester United is a triumph. It is poor stuff."
City may have irritated Ferguson but he does not see them as a title threat just yet.
The same cannot be said of Rafael Benitez, whose Liverpool side got closest to United last term and are many people's tip to finish top this time around, providing Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres stay fit.
However, bad blood exists between the two managers. At least Ferguson knows Benitez does not care for him judging by the number of attacks that were launched in his direction last term.
Ferguson responded just once, when he felt Benitez reacted contemptuously towards old friend Sam Allardyce during a late-season victory over Blackburn.
Liverpool officials denied Benitez's arm-crossing was a signal the game was over immediately after the Reds had scored. For Ferguson, that in itself was a sign of guilt.
"There was no doubt he was doing that," said Ferguson.
"Liverpool were too quick to come out and respond that he was signalling they should take a free-kick a different way."Reuse content