Manchester United are one of the biggest football clubs in the world. The Red Devils' rich history and pedigree make them one of the most enticing destinations for top players in the game.
Manchester United have always been known for producing prodigious talent through their youth academy over the years. But the club has also never shied from spending big money to sign some of the best players in the world.
The 13-time Premier League champions have spent big to land the likes of Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria and Paul Pogba, to name a few.
Five big-name players who chose not to move to Manchester United
However. not all big-name players see Manchester United as a viable destination. In recent times, players have rejected moves to Manchester United because of the club's indifferent performances.
On that note, let's take a look at five players who declined moves to Manchester United:
#1 Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas was widely regarded as one of the Premier League's best midfielders during his time with Arsenal. The Barcelona youth academy product spent eight years with the Gunners before rejoining Barcelona in 2011 in a deal worth £35 million.
During his time at Barcelona, Fabregas was often used as a 'false nine' or get demoted to the bench, as Pep Guardiola preferred to play Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets ahead of the former Arsenal man.
Cesc Fabregas was often linked with a move back to the Premier League. In the summer of 2014, the Spaniard was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City and Manchester United. Manchester United infamously made three unsuccessful bids to sign the Spanish midfielder.
"After the week, I had to take my chance, I had Manchester City, United and then I spoke to Mourinho ,which I didn’t think would ever happen," Fabregas told Arsecast.
"To be honest, after I left the room with Mourinho I said, 'that’s it, I don’t need to talk to anyone else. I’m going to Chelsea.' What he told me, the team he wanted to make, what he thought of me, how he wanted me to play, this is what I wanted. On top of that, it’s London and not Manchester; London was my home."
Fabregas eventually chose Chelsea ahead of Manchester United and Manchester City.
#2 Toni Kroos
Toni Kroos' exemplary performances for Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup caught the attention of a number of Europe's top clubs. He eventually joined Real Madrid, with whom he has won three Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles.
Prior to his move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2014, Kroos was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United. The midfielder reportedly had conversations with then United manager David Moyes and had agreed to join the Scotsman at Old Trafford prior to his sacking.
"I knew before that Manchester wanted me. Moyes underlined that absolutely. It was a really nice afternoon with very nice people. We talked a lot about United's footballing plan, which convinced me. In the end, we agreed to do it. We agreed verbally," Kroos told GQ Magazine. I am not somebody who worries about contingencies. Yes, it was close. I almost went to Manchester United. But it did not happen that way."
Kroos eventually rejected a move to Manchester United after the club sacked David Moyes. He eventually joined Spanish giants Real Madrid, and the rest, as they say, is history.