David Moyes has revealed how close a World Cup winner was to joining Manchester United under his reign in an interview with the Telegraph.
After settling into his position as head coach of the Red Devils, the Scot had identified a number of targets he felt would strengthen his team, with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo being constantly linked with the club in the media.
However, it was Toni Kroos who could’ve been Moyes’s marquee signing during his time in Manchester, with the former Everton manager claiming the proposed deal to bring the German international, who won the World Cup with his country in Brazil, was sabotaged by Louis van Gaal.
“Toni Kroos was agreed to come in the summer,” Moyes explained. “I had agreed it with Toni himself and his agent. – it was done. ”
Unfortunately for United, van Gaal felt that Kroos didn’t fit his ethos and decided to backtrack on the agreed transfer, with the midfielder opting to join Real Madrid following his triumph in Brazil two years ago.
It was Bale that was Moyes’s main target, though, and he tried to do everything within his power to persuade the attacker to become a United great.
Trying to compete with one of the world’s biggest clubs for his signature did not make matters easier.
“I felt all along that Gareth Bale was a Manchester United player. I fought right until the last minute. We actually offered [Tottenham Hotspur] a bigger deal than Real Madrid [a then world record £85 million – United offered £100 million].
But Gareth had his mind made up on going to Real Madrid. That was, in my mind, the player I really wanted to bring to Manchester United.
And current Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas was yet another ambitious dream signing for Moyes.
“The other one was Cesc Fabregas, who we thought we would get right up until the last minute [from Barcelona, where he stayed for one more season before joining Chelsea]. Sometimes you don’t get deals done. Gareth Bale we were probably behind all along, Real Madrid were well in for it. The Cesc one was disappointing. It was very close.
Since being sacked by the club nine months into a six-year deal, Moyes feels that the age-old traditions have not only been tarnished, but eradicated entirely at Old Trafford.
“Manchester United was a club with great traditions, traditions where they tended to pick British managers,” Moyes said. “That tradition has now gone. They were a football club who enjoy traditions with the way they spent.
They didn’t try to compete with all the other clubs. They did what they thought was the right thing to do and spent the right way. I can say that’s gone. There have been a few changes at Manchester United but that’s the way they have chosen to go.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.