Sir Alex Ferguson was looking at several names to replenish his Manchester United squad prior to his retirement in 2013 – and his former assistant has revealed that a current Manchester City star was on Fergie’s radar.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Rene Meulensteen, Ferguson’s former first-team coach at Manchester United, revealed that Ilkay Gundogan – then of Borussia Dortmund – was being considered as a successor to Paul Scholes.
“If Fergie had carried on then we would have added some more quality, probably some more energy,” Meulensteen said. “I wouldn’t say it was an ageing squad, it was a mature squad.
“I’m sure if Fergie would have stayed the continuity and stability would’ve been there and United would’ve competed for the title again.
“We were looking at [Ilkay] Gundogan from Dortmund and [Marco] Reus at that time.
“We were looking at Gundogan – someone similar [to Scholes], who could keep ticking the ball over, thinks quick and has tempo.”
Gundogan would eventually join neighbours City, after coming close to joining Barcelona – who have again been linked with the German lately – with Ferguson’s successors at Manchester United opting for different targets.
Ilkay has made 69 appearances to date at City since arriving in 2015, scoring 11 goals.