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Sir Alex Ferguson Wanted To Sign Player Before Beating Him In Historic Treble Campaign

Sir Alex Ferguson Wanted To Sign Player Before Beating Him In Historic Treble Campaign

Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign Gianluca Pagliuca before Manchester United knocked his Inter Milan side out of the Champions League en route to winning a historic treble.

Legendary Italian goalkeeper Pagliuca was part of the Inter side United beat in the quarter finals but things could have been different. for him.

Pagliuca could very well have been part of that all-conquering United side as he claims the Red Devils tried to sign him beforehand but Inter knocked back their approach straight away.

"In 1997, when I returned to the national team, Manchester United asked about me," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

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"It's not that I said no, it was Moratti saying: 'Pagliuca doesn't move'."

Peter Schmeichel was United's number one at the time and left at the end of the unprecedented treble triumph, with United struggling to find a solid goalkeeper in between the sticks until Edwin van der Sar was signed in 2005.

Pagliuca, meanwhile, also revealed he had an offer from Aston Villa, one of Schmeichel's future clubs, a couple of years later.

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"Then in 1999, Aston Villa came for me, but also Deportivo la Coruna in Spain, who then won La Liga. I have no regrets," he added.

But while he ultimately never made the switch to England before retiring, Pagliuca has urged Azzurri and AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to do what he never did and play in the Premier League.

"He's very close to Milan, he would like to stay, but he needs to be careful," Pagliuca told TMW Radio.

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"It will be years before they win something important. There are other teams who are clearly ahead. You have to think about that.

"If a great offer came in, I would think about it, especially if it came from the Premier League. If I were him, I'd aim to go to the Premier League."

Topics: Football News, Football, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Inter Milan

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.