Two Rons made a right

"It was a big disappointment at the time. But we signed Cristiano Ronaldo that very same summer and perhaps we wouldn't have ended up with Ronaldo had we got Ronaldinho."

- Sir Alex Ferguson

28/08/2013 22:12, Report by Adam Marshall
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Blog: Fate of the market's Adam Marshall takes a personal look at the transfer market - and how missing out on players has sometimes helped United in the past...

Some fans appeared to panic when David Moyes admitted in Friday's press conference there was a "possibility" of United not signing anyone before the transfer window closes.

In fact, the manager had actually sounded positive that some business would be concluded and yet the general mood from supporters on message boards seemed to be one of despondency, even though the reigning champions have a squad that looks more than capable of challenging for the title again.

Moyes has gone on record to stress he knows which areas he needs to strengthen and, without doubt, efforts will be maintained on those fronts but the Old Trafford faithful should be pretty hopeful that everything will pan out to the club's benefit in the end. History tells us that this is often the case.

With the deadline approaching [thankfully, some might say], it is worth recalling how fateful the pursuit of players has been in the past at Old Trafford.

As a fan of a certain age, it was fascinating to hear Ron Atkinson reveal on MUTV recently that he came close to signing Terry Butcher and Mark Lawrenson to add a touch of class to his team in the 1980s. Butcher was, of course, a lionhearted centre-back for England while Lawrenson formed a fine partnership with Alan Hansen at Liverpool.

Looking back over many transfer tussles, it's worth noting how many times the Reds and Merseysiders have gone head-to-head over targets. During Sir Alex Ferguson's glorious reign, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jaap Stam, Mikael Silvestre, Karel Poborsky and Phil Jones were all reported to be on their way to Anfield before ending up at United.

Of course, some did opt for Liverpool - Glenn Hysen and Harry Kewell spring to mind - and Sir Alex was forced to look elsewhere. But that is the very nature of the transfer market. As the Reds' former boss has often pointed out, if one deal does not come off, it just triggers a separate pursuit that

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