Retrospective: Manchester United announce Ramsey fee agreement

Aaron Ramsey is lighting Arsenal up at present, but Manchester United came close to signing him themselves. We take a look back at the midfielder's transfer chase.

Aaron Ramsey is the Premier League's most in-form player, and is also making decisive contributions in the Champions League.

Crucial goals against Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund have set him up for a perfect hat-trick against Manchester United.

Ramsey already has a winning goal over United on his CV, scored in a 1-0 win at the Emirates in May 2011 with a coolly placed shot from the edge of the box.

But how close did he come to being a Manchester United player?

Very is the answer, Ramsey cam agonisingly close to a potential move.

United were so confident of signing the talented midfielder from Cardiff City that they took the step of announcing they had agreed a fee, on their official website:

From June 3 2008, Ramsey Fee Agreed: "United have agreed a fee with Cardiff City to bring talented teenager Aaron Ramsey to Old Trafford. 

"The 17-year-old left-sided midfielder has yet to agree personal terms and must also pass a medical before any deal can be completed.

"A club spokesperson told "Manchester United is delighted to announce it has agreed terms with Cardiff City for the transfer of Aaron Ramsey subject to contract terms being agreed and the player passing a medical."

Just 10 days later, Ramsey was confirmed as an Arsenal player: BBC - Ramsey completes Arsenal switch

Arsenal had taken the steps to fly Ramsey and his family to Switzerland where Wenger was working as a pundit during Euro 2008, with the midfielder confessing the manager's personal touch swayed his decision.

"Arsene talked to me for a long time about the club and the plans for the future, which really excites me."

Ramsey was only afforded the opportunity to speak with Manchester United boss at the time Sir Alex Ferguson by phone.

He told the Independent in 2010: "I felt more wanted here [at Arsenal], by that I mean they did more things to try to get me."

Not many players turn down Sir Alex Ferguson and don't regret it, but Ramsey's current form suggests he is carving his own route to the top and nothing will stop him.

The opposite side of that argument is that Ramsey is so talented he would likely have blossomed too, and would also already be a Premier League champion. He may not be too far from putting that right at the end of the season.

But United were not the only club Ramsey turned down; for he came very close to signing with Everton too.

The Star reported that by the end, Everton were even ahead of United in the running: "It was a really close call between Arsenal and Everton. Aaron was bowled over by Arsene and David Moyes was tremendously impressive too."

The BBC in their report confirmed Ramsey even met with David Moyes ahead of Arsene Wenger.

The now Manchester United boss will hope the Welshman is not causing him to reflect on another defeat on Sunday evening.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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