Man United needed a dynamic, goal-scoring creative midfielder in 2012, and a 21-year-old named Eden Hazard caught their attention after an incredible season at Lille in which he produced an astonishing 20 goals and 18 assists in Ligue 1.
The Guardian claims that at the time, a number of elite Premier League clubs were expressing interest in his talents, but Ferguson believed he had the upper hand in the competition to recruit him.
The great boss traveled to France in March of that year to witness Hazard play against Lyon, and the Belgian player claimed he was “excited” by the presence of the legendary manager.
He stated, “Of course [United interest me], this is a club that excites everyone, but for now my focus is on Lille,” according to the French publication La Voix du Nord [via the Guardian]. But it is enjoyable to have one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best, watch you play.
Although he had spoken poetic about Ferguson and the possibility of playing for Man United, his attention had been drawn to the Chelsea enterprise after they had won the Champions League.
The Belgian great did, in fact, pass up the opportunity to join United by transferring to Stamford Bridge for a rumored £32 million cost, and the rest is history.