What happened to three superstars David Moyes missed out on as Man Utd manager

The appointment of David Moyes to Manchester United didn’t work out as expected and the former Everton boss only lasted 10 months in charge, but his fortunes may have been different if he hadn’t missed out on signing his original targets

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David Moyes has recently transformed West Ham into European contenders, and is currently one of the most respected managers in the Premier League.

It has taken a long time for the Scotsman to earn back his pedigree though as his decision to take over from Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 proved disastrous, as he was sacked after just ten months in charge at Manchester United.

It was United’s shortest managerial stint in 82 years but it could have been a completely different story if Moyes had been able to secure his desired signings, after an unsuccessful summer transfer window saw him miss out on a number of players.

Ultimately, Moyes was forced to raid his former side Everton in order to bolster his squad for the season ahead, and a £30million deal on Deadline Day for Marouane Fellaini issued concerns that the new United boss had ‘panic bought’ the Belgian midfielder after missing out on other targets.

Here Mirror Football take a look at what happened to the stars that Moyes desperately tried to bring in while at United…

Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos was on the verge of joining Manchester United under David Moyes



Moyes expressed his desire to sign Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich as he went in search of a new midfielder, and told beIN Sports back in 2020: “Toni Kroos would certainly be the one who if I’d got to Manchester United he’d have been winning.”

The German international revealed in 2018 that he was close to joining Moyes at Old Trafford and believed a deal “had basically been done”, but then the United manager was sacked.

The move naturally hit a stumbling block, and Kroos went on to win the World Cup with Germany that summer in Brazil, causing Real Madrid to swoop in and sign the midfielder for a deal believed to be in the region of €24-€30m (£20.5-£25.5m).

It was a brilliant move for both Madrid and Kroos, as the German has been a sensation in their midfield over the previous seven seasons, and 13 trophies have been won during his time at the Santiago Bernabeau, including three Champions League’s.

Kroos spoke to The Athletic about his failed move to United, and said: “David Moyes had come to see me and the contract had basically been done but then Moyes was fired and Louis van Gaal came in, which complicated matters.

“Louis wanted time to build his own project. I didn’t hear anything from United for a while and started having doubts. Then the World Cup started and Carlo Ancelotti called. And that was it.”

Would David Moyes have been successful at Manchester United if these deals got over the line? Comment below

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas snubbed a move to Manchester United before later signing for Chelsea

Cesc Fabregas was on Moyes’ radar for the majority of his first and only summer transfer window at United, and failing to land the Spaniard was a costly error as the Scotsman alienated other potential targets.

The former Arsenal midfielder joined his boyhood Barcelona in 2011 after originally spending six seasons in the Catalan sides youth system before moving to the Gunners in 2003, where he became a star.

Despite a successful spell at Barcelona, Fabregas failed to consistently break into a brilliant midfield dominated by Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Sergio Busquets, so asked to leave the club despite the president attempting to convince the Spaniard to stay.

Moyes attempted to lure Fabregas to Old Trafford and sign for his former rivals in a £25m deal, but the midfielder had second thoughts about leaving the Camp Nou just yet, and played an extra season before joining Chelsea.

According to The Athletic, Paul Pogba expressed his desire to return to United following Moyes’ arrival after leaving the club for free a year prior, but the Scotsman ignored a potential reunion in order to secure a deal for Fabregas which ultimately failed.

Fabregas chose Chelsea a year later and spent five seasons at Stamford Bridge, winning the Premier League twice before lifting the FA Cup during the 2017/18 campaign.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale chose Real Madrid over Manchester United


Ian Walton)

Moyes has revealed that Gareth Bale was the first player he tried to sign as United boss as he saw the Welshman as the perfect replacement for club legend Ryan Giggs, who was nearing retirement.

The Scotsman said that Bale fit the profile perfectly, explaining: “Gareth Bale was probably the first name I thought of when I got the job. I thought Bale was a Manchester United player. He was the right type.

“United have a great history of wide players with George Best up to Ryan Giggs and a whole of lot of other brilliant ones in between.”

However, Moyes quickly learnt that talks were already ongoing with Madrid, but tit didn’t stop him trying to force a move: “It was already down the road a bit with Real Madrid. I tried to hijack it. I tried to get him. Manchester United offered more money than Real Madrid. They offered more money to the player.

“We did everything we could to try and get the player. We even had a helicopter at the training ground to take him and bring him back. We thought we had a chance. But he chose real Madrid and he made a brilliant decision because he went on to win four Champions Leagues. He’s had a brilliant career.”

Although Bale’s time at Madrid hasn’t been as pleasant as it once was, the move was a brilliant one for player and club as the Welshman has helped Los Blancos to 13 trophies since signing in 2013, including four Champions League honours.

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