Hamsik and El Shaarawy 'recommended to Sir Alex Ferguson'

How close did Manchester United come to landing two of Serie A's top stars?

Football agents love to talk, and Fabio Parisi is no different. He is one of world football's most renowned deal makers, having handled transfers involving George Weah and Zinedine Zidane.

Zidane was a player once recommended personally to Sir Alex Ferguson by no less than Eric Cantona, from the words of the King himself, but the manager elected not to make a move for the Frenchman.

In an interview with Italian outlet TMW magazine, the outspoken Parisi has revealed how he personally recommended two of Italian football's biggest stars to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I talked to him about Italian football and one of the many things I advised him heavily (on was) two players: one was Marek Hamsik other El Shaarawy."

Parisi thought United would be especially good for El Shaarawy as they would allow him greater opportunities, although he acknowledges the way it has worked out with the Italian getting ample chances now Milan have sold off a host of top stars including Ibrahimovic and Pato and Robinho set to depart for Brazil.

For United though, failing to move quickly on the attacker when Parisi recommended him looks like an expensive missed opportunity; he has blossomed into one of the world's most exciting players.

This season Stephane El Sharaawy has scored a phenomenal 14 goals in 18 Serie A games, with three assists in there too. At just 20, and versatile enough to play in a range of positions across the front line, how good he may become in the future is a scary proposition.

If United wanted him now, even a bid of £25 million would be no guarantee to sign him, there is no way Milan would want to let him go, the only bright spark of a poor season for the club.

As for Marek Hamsik, the image of him in United's midfield is enough to drive supporters crazy at the thought of what could have been. A box-to-box creative midfielder who is strong in the tackle and has an eye for goal, he is the heartbeat of Napoli's side, and another valued now at over £20 million.

Sir Alex Ferguson likely gets recommendations from agents all the time, and obviously can't act of all of them, there are other things to consider including finances and other players on the books, but if the Scotsman can recall his conversation with Parisi, we wonder if he now regrets not acting on the two superstars when he could have done.


image: © vincentteeuwen

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