Manchester United are one of the world's biggest and most successful football teams and have dominated the British game for the last two decades, winning no fewer than 38 trophies over the last 27 years, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League crowns. Because of their success they have been able to sign some of the biggest names in the sport, from 'King' Eric Cantona through to Cristiano Ronaldo. A great number of the players United have signed have gone on to either enjoy tremendous success or become a club legend, with their names still sung from the Stretford End to this day. Players such as Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs will live forever in Old Trafford folklore while the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law have been immortalised in the form of a statue outside the famous stadium. There has however been names United fans should be glad their club didn't sign. Over the years the Reds have been tipped to sign some of the latest up-and-coming young stars only to miss out on landing them or simply retract from the deal. There have been notable examples of this being a good thing, as well, for said stars went on to bomb, struggle through an injury nightmare and, in one example on this list, change career paths entirely. Can you imagine if United had signed a 23-year-old Sean Connery sixty years ago? One of the best-ever James Bond actors might never have hit cinema screens, and the much-loved franchise might today be a very different one. There are more examples of the Red Devils dodging a bullet by not signing a certain star, and here we look at nine more.
Joseph is an accredited football journalist and has interviewed nearly all of the current 20 Barclay's Premier League managers. He is also a correspondent for Bleacher Report and has written for Caught Offside and Give Me Football.