Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary manager of Manchester United, recently disclosed his greatest regret, which was the failure to secure the signing of Paul Gascoigne for Old Trafford. In his autobiography, Ferguson recounts an oral agreement he had with the talented attacking midfielder from Newcastle in 1988, where Gascoigne was meant to join United. Unfortunately, a few days later, Gascoigne opted to sign with Tottenham Hotspur instead, spending several years there before moving to Lazio in Rome.
Reflecting on this missed opportunity, Ferguson expressed his deep admiration for Gascoigne, describing him as “absolutely fantastic.” He believes that had Gascoigne joined United, he would have had an even more remarkable career, acknowledging that his existing career was already impressive. Ferguson emphasizes the potential mentorship Gascoigne could have received from other Geordie players in the team, including Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, and Bobby Charlton. Ferguson also mentions Gary Pallister, although born in Middlesbrough, who shared a similar wavelength with Gascoigne. Ferguson regrets Gascoigne’s decision to sign with Tottenham after promising him that he would join United, particularly because Tottenham had bought his mother a house for £80,000.
Additionally, Ferguson addressed rumors surrounding Wesley Sneijder, another player heavily linked with a move to United. Despite widespread speculation in 2011 about an agreed £35 million deal with Inter, Ferguson dismissed these claims. He clarified that while they did discuss Sneijder, the club was never genuinely interested in signing him. Ferguson expressed uncertainty about the origins of these rumors but noted that they were recurrent, with “The People” newspaper mentioning new names every Sunday during that period.