Is missing out on Gareth Bale a bigger regret for Manchester United than Ronaldinho?
Manchester United fans have been voting for their biggest regret of recent seasons, with a failure to sign Gareth Bale coming out on top.
The Mirror put together a list of players United 'nearly' signed over the years, with some huge names on the list. In a website poll at the end of the piece, the big regret was put to fans.
Gareth Bale amassed over a third of the vote with 32 per cent, ahead of former Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldinho on 29 per cent.
Alan Shearer (15%), Eden Hazard (13%), and Cesc Fabregas (11%) trailed behind the duo, who each would have changed the dynamic of United.
The Red Devils even had two chances to sign Bale, once while he was at Southampton, with Sir Alex Ferguson telling The Telegraph a year ago:
"We were disappointed in Southampton at the time because we were first there, but they never came back to us,” Ferguson said.
“It was not the boy who turned us down, it was Southampton, then a few weeks later he signed for Tottenham Hotspur."
Perhaps however United just didn't push hard enough, but they reportedly tried far harder when he was sold a year ago, even reported to have outbid Real Madrid's world record £86 million. Tottenham however simply refused to sanction a deal to their fellow Premier League club, only just talked into letting him move abroad.
Bale is the natural replacement for Ryan Giggs for his country, Wales, and United certainly missed a trick on failing to sign him themselves as a teenager, with Bale now regarded as one of the world's best.
Ronaldinho however even won the Ballon d'Or, at once stage appearing destined to leave PSG for Manchester United in 2003, changing his mind at the last minute to switch to Barcelona instead.
He went onto become their key man in the rejuvenation of the team under Frank Rijkaard, but perhaps there was one real plus point for United in missing out on the Brazilian... they went on to sign Cristiano Ronaldo instead.