Manchester United held talks with Wenger to replace Ferguson
Former chairman Martin Edwards has revealed that Manchester United held talks with Arsene Wenger in an effort to tempt him away from Arsenal. Ferguson had shocked everyone by announcing that he would retire after the 2000-01 season. Consequently, Wenger was identified as the ideal person to take over the reins at Old Trafford. Had things gone accordingly, things could have been very different.
Edwards said, "Wenger did show a little bit of interest, enough to want to meet with both Peter Kenyon and me at his home in London to listen to what we had to say. In fact, we had a couple of meetings with him" However, Wenger felt loyalty towards David Dein (former Arsenal vice-chairman) and that was the reason of him turning down United.
Had Wenger joined United and Ferguson had indeed retired, then the history of Premier League could have been very different. While on one hand, United would not have been the most successful English club, on the other, Arsenal would never have enjoyed an undefeated season. Cristiano Ronaldo could have joined Arsenal; in short, football would have been very different from what it is today.
Ferguson reversed his decision and went on to stay at United until 2013 when he actually retired. In this period, he guided the club to many major honours, including seven Premier League titles and the Champions League. Overall, Ferguson won 28 major trophies, including 13 league titles. Because of this overwhelming success, Ferguson is revered by many as the greatest manager of all time.