Rio Ferdinand tells a story about Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara wanting to sign for Manchester United back in 2013.
If you don’t recall the Thiago Alcantara to United transfer saga that summer, it was tiresome, with dithering David Moyes ultimately passing on the opportunity to sign the Spain international.
It is eight years since Thiago left Barcelona when he joined Bayern Munich in a deal that cost the Bundesliga side just €25 million.
According to Ferdinand, Thiago got his number from David de Gea before contacting the then-Manchester United defender because he wanted to join the club.
“So we knew about him, anyway, and a few years later Moyes was manager. I don’t speak to Thiago, I don’t know him, but David de Gea gave him my number.
“So [Thiago] rang me, and he said, ‘Rio, I would love to come to Man United, can you speak to someone?’
“I spoke to the people at the club… Moyes, it might have [also] been [Ed] Woodward, I mentioned it. [They replied], ‘no, we’re already down the line with a couple of other signings.’”
The tip was ignored because a deal never materialised and United ended up with Marouane Fellaini that summer.
Thiago currently plays for Liverpool and would’ve probably preferred if Ferdinand kept this story to himself.
United missed the opportunity to sign a player who went on to have a brilliant career at Bayern Munich, but I’m not one bit bothered by the fact we passed on the chance to sign him last summer.
It is interesting to hear more former players speak out about Woodward in such a way, with him set to depart the club before the end of the year, especially when referencing transfers that went wrong.