David Moyes claims he had targeted Real Madrid pair Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo at the beginning of his doomed Manchester United reign.
Moyes was sacked less than a season into succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at United in 2014, and the former Real Sociedad boss – now back in England at Sunderland – revealed he was keen to sign Bale, Toni Kroos and Cesc Fabregas, while being given hope of Ronaldo possibly returning.
“When I first went in to United my real target was Gareth Bale,” he was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
“I felt all along that Gareth Bale was a Manchester United player and I fought to get him [from Tottenham] right up until the last minute.
“We actually offered him a bigger deal than Real Madrid but Gareth had his mind made up on going to Madrid. He was, though, in my mind, the player I really wanted.
“The other one I came really close to getting was Cesc Fàbregas, who we thought we would get [from Barcelona] right up until the last minute.
“Sir Alex [Ferguson] had told me there was always a chance Ronaldo might come back from Real Madrid.
“Toni Kroos had agreed to come in the summer. I’d agreed it with Toni himself and his agent.
“It was a done deal, so that was the level I was targeting – but sometimes you don’t get deals done; the Cesc one was disappointing, it was very close.
“I don’t know if those signings would have made the difference but I would have hoped that, given time, I would have been working with a successful Manchester United team now.”