Here we take a look at 13 – unlucky for some – players who can be deemed ‘dodged bullets’ for United, some you may remember, and no doubt a few you won’t.
5. Bryan Ruiz
Mike Ashley was prepared to lay on a helicopter to take the Costa Rica striker to the North-East on summer deadline day in 2011 - he chose Fulham, where he'd already agreed to sign when United upped their interest too late in the day. After all that drama, the frontman was a flop at Craven Cottage.
Photo: Jamie McDonald
6. Daniel Sturridge
Newcastle came within a whisker of signing the player under Rafa Benitez in January 2018 but he chose West Brom instead. That Baggies loan returned six appearances and no goals. Released by Liverpool in the summer the 30-year-old is at Trabzonspor.
Photo: Andrew Powell
The Brazilian international was part of a transfer tug of war between Newcastle United and Manchester United. He ended up going to Old Trafford and just could not get up to speed with the Premier League. Won a World Cup in his career, so didn't turn out too bad!
Photo: Richard Heathcote
8. Jermaine Beckford
Alan Shearer wanted him in the summer of 2009. Chris Hughton in the winter of 2010. He was the talk of English football after a goal at Old Trafford for Leeds United. It never happened, and his career nosedived.
Photo: Michael Regan