Man Utd failed to sign four Tottenham players before the clash

Manchester United take on Tottenham on Wednesday night looking to increase their chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League. However, if things had been different, four of Antonio Conte’s players could be strutting their stuff with Erik ten Hag. Express Sport will now take a look at four players the Red Devils have had an interest in over the years, only to end up missing out.

harry kane

Let’s start with the obvious.

When Louis van Gaal was manager of United, and Harry Kane’s career was still in its infancy, the Dutchman thought of attacking Tottenham.

However, United were unable to reach an agreement for two reasons.

One was that Tottenham made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that they would not allow their prized asset to swap north London for Old Trafford under any circumstances.

Relations between the two giants have been strained since Spurs were forced to let Dimitar Berbatov go in 2008.

And United then sacked Van Gaal in 2016, with José Mourinho choosing to recruit Zlatan Ibrahimovic for free rather than test Tottenham’s resolve on Kane.

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lucas moura

Long before United’s interest in Kane, they sought a deal for Lucas Moura.

The Brazilian international was just starting out in San Paulo in 2012 when Sir Alex Ferguson considered bringing him to the Premier League.

But Ferguson, writing in his book ‘Leading’, has opened up about his failure to capture Lucas.

“Right towards the end of my time at United we were looking for Lucas Moura, the immensely talented right winger who, at the time, was playing in his native Brazil for Sao Paulo,” he wrote.

“We offered £24m for him, which was increased to £30m and then £35m again, but Paris Saint-Germain signed him for £45m.

“David Gill and I just weren’t ready to go to those kinds of levels.”

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Ivan Perisic

In 2017, Mourinho wanted United to sign Ivan Perisic, who was a regular at Inter Milan at the time.

The current Roma boss even suggested using Anthony Martial as bait, believing the French international to be too mentally fragile to play him.

However, the Glazers intervened and blocked a deal from being made.

Mourinho again requested the signing of Perisic in 2018, believing that the Croatian international would be perfect to provide the ammunition for Romelu Lukaku to shoot.

However, he got the same answer. Months later, he left, and the United players lost faith in his boss when his mood took a turn for the worse.

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eric dier

Back in 2017, Mourinho wanted United to attack Tottenham for Eric Dier.

The England international is a key player for Conte at Spurs, finally living up to his potential after years of inconsistency.

But Tottenham eliminated United in a move for the centre-back, whom Mourinho actually intended to play in midfield.

As an alternative, Nemanja Matic would arrive.

The Serbian international landed from Chelsea and spent five years at United before moving to Roma earlier this year.


There’s more too…

Tottenham have also refused to sell other players to United over the years, people who are no longer with the club.

Ferguson wanted Luka Modric in 2012, along with Chelsea, but Spurs sent their midfielder to Real Madrid.

The following year, United had a helicopter ready to fly with Gareth Bale.

However, Tottenham played against their rivals before offloading the Wales international to Real Madrid in a huge £85m deal.

United also tried to acquire Toby Alderweireld in 2018, but Tottenham were in no mood to negotiate the centre-back’s departure at the time.

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