David Moyes, the Sunderland manager, has said that he intended to bring in players like Toni Kroos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Cesc Fàbregas at Old Trafford during his time at Manchester United.
The former Everton manager took charge of United in the summer of 2013, after Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down from the managerial role. He endured a turbulent 10-month period at United, and his only major signing during the transfer window was Marouane Fellaini on deadline day for £27.5m, from his former club, Everton.
Since his departure, United have spent heavily in the transfer windows under both Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho. This summer, United have spent over €180m, including breaking the world record to sign midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus for €100m.
Moyes revealed that Bale was his primary target, and that he had even agreed to a deal for Toni Kroos before the German moved to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich.
Moyes said, as quoted by ESPN:
When I first went in, my real target was Gareth Bale. I felt all along that Gareth Bale was a Manchester United player.
I fought right until the last minute. We actually offered a bigger deal than Real Madrid. But Gareth had his mind made up on going to Real Madrid. That was, in my mind, the player I really wanted to bring to Manchester United.
The other one was Cesc Fàbregas, who we thought we would get right up until the last minute. I remember, when I first met Sir Alex, and he always said there was a chance Ronaldo might come back.
Toni Kroos was agreed to come in the summer. I had agreed it with Toni himself and his agent.
So that was the level we were targeting. We had a squad which had just won the league. I wanted to gradually make changes as I went along, not make wholesale changes.
Arsène Wenger has said that he is in no hurry to sign a new deal at Arsenal. Wenger insists that he will only decide to carry on with Arsenal if the Gunners do well in the Premier League and Europe this season.
The Frenchman said, as quoted by the Mirror:
I always said that I will judge where I stand in spring and make my decisions then. And the club is free as well. It’s not because I am here a long time that I have any rights. We are both on the same boat.
The club are happy and it will not affect planning. There are plenty of managers who arrived at the end of their contract. It happened to me before. I signed sometimes in March, April for longer contracts. So I don’t think it’s a problem.
I worked everywhere I was until the last day of my contract with total commitment. That’s why maybe I can go back everywhere I was, because people respect that.
The Frenchman’s current £8m-a-year deal expires next summer. The club is ready to offer Wenger another two-year contract extension and are confident he will commit himself.