Sir Alex Ferguson would have brought a prestigious name to Manchester United this summer had he remained as manager, his former assistant Mike Phelan has revealed, according to Sky
Speaking to a Scandinavian supporters’ club magazine, Phelan claimed that United were close to completing a deal for a big name player, although the one-time England international declined to reveal the player’s identity.
Ferguson’s successor, David Moyes, struggled to land his transfer targets, having to wait until the final hours of the transfer window to sign Marouane Fellaini from his former employers, Everton, with Moyes’ efforts hampered by the departure of David Gill, the club’s chief executive.
“If Sir Alex and David Gill had still been the bosses, I won’t name the player, but there would have been a star signing, one of the absolute best players in the world,” Phelan said. “It was something the boss talked about, and the owners and David Gill were also quite clear on doing it. There’s very few of such players out there. I think it’s clear to everybody who I’m talking about,” he continued.
Having guided United to an 11-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table to regain the Premier League title, Phelan believes that United would have kept faith with largely the same squad for this season, with only the unnamed marquee signing arriving to bolster the club.
“We didn’t see the need for a big clear-out of the squad, that’s why Sir Alex and I had the one big signing in sight,” the former United player added. “One such star signing gives everybody a lift, we saw that with Robin van Persie.”
Phelan played more than 100 games for United between 1989 and 1994, signed by Ferguson from Norwich City. Starting his professional career at Burnley in 1979, Phelan was capped by England in 1989 and also represented West Bromwich Albion before retiring and returning to Old Trafford as a coach in 1999.
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