Sir Alex Ferguson signed some of the greatest players the Premier League has ever seen during his time in charge of Manchester United, but there’s one star who he still wishes he’d brought to Old Trafford.
The legendary manager looked back at his 27 years in charge at the club and named the one star he wished he’d signed during his career.
When asked about the player that got away, he said it was Paul Gascoigne.
"Paul Gascoigne, without question. He was the best English player since Bobby Charlton, he was a fantastic player," Ferguson said back in 2021 [via Sportbible].
The manager attempted to bring the midfielder to Old Trafford after watching him play for Newcastle against Man Utd.
However, he’s already agreed a move to Tottenham and United missed out on the deal – which Ferguson claimed the player lived to regret.
Dave Cannon/Allsport/Getty Images/Hulton Archive
"We didn't get him and I think, looking back now, he made a big mistake. He recognised it himself years later,” said Ferguson.
"We had Geordies in the camp – Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce – even Gary Pallister from Middlesbrough. We had people there that would have taken care of him, particularly Bryan Robson – he was fantastic with players, as you know.
"So he goes to an island, London, and you're easily swallowed up there, for a young lad. I think that was a big mistake by him.
"He was a marvellous player. I loved his strength. We played at Newcastle up there on Easter Monday and he'd just come back from injury. They were near the bottom of the league and as soon as he came back they started winning games.
Ferguson went on to say: "I went there and played three in the middle of the pitch – [Norman] Whiteside, Robson and Remi Moses. He destroyed them, and then he nutmegged Moses right in front of the dugout and patted him on the head! I'm jumping out the box going…
"Honestly he was unbelievable and I said to [former Manchester United chairman] Martin Edwards on the way home: 'Sign this boy. Get on the phone to him on Monday.'
"But by that time, he had already done a deal with Tottenham, which was really unfortunate. That was a disappointment because he agreed to sign and then Tottenham changed his mind by buying his mother and father a house.”
After coming through the ranks at Newcastle, Gascoigne played for the likes of Tottenham, Lazio, Rangers and Middlesborough over the course of his career. He was capped 57 times for England.
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