VINCENT KOMPANY missed out on a transfer to Manchester United because Sir Alex Ferguson became “smitten” with a little-known star.
The Belgian former defender, 37, became a hero across town at Manchester City.
PA:Press AssociationManchester City legend Vincent Kompany could have joined United instead[/caption]
Sir Alex Ferguson’s scouting mission for the Belgian defender was distractedPA
In 11 years at the Etihad, Kompany won ten major honours including four Premier League titles to etch his name into the club’s folklore and cement his legendary status.
But it could have been very different indeed.
That is because Ferguson had identified Komapany as a transfer target all the way back in 2004 when he was still at Anderlecht, four years before his £7million move to City.
A list of wanted defenders, published in Fergie’s Leading book, showed Kompany’s name alongside Gabriel Heinze, Gerard Pique and Philippe Mexes.
Heinze and Pique both joined while Mexes snubbed United to go to Roma instead.
However, a swoop for Kompany collapsed when Ferguson got distracted on a scouting mission.
The legendary Old Trafford boss said in 2018: “When I went to the Celtic vs Anderlecht Champions League tie in Glasgow in November 2003, it was to watch the Belgian defender Vincent Kompany.
“However, my attention soon gravitated to Celtic’s energetic young midfielder, slight of stature but with an assured, calm way about him.
“What I witnessed was a player with a tremendous set of midfield fundamentals — his movement off the ball, his penetration of the Anderlecht midfield.
“I came away smitten by his performance, not least the timing of his runs.
“Leaving Parkhead I was totally determined to get Liam Miller to Manchester United.”
Irishman Miller completed a switch to United in the summer of 2004 and made 22 appearances, including nine in the Premier League.
He headed to Leeds on loan in 2005, though, before a journeyman career in England, Scotland and Australia.
Miller played for hometown club Cork City in 2015 and spent the final year of his playing days at Wilmington Hammerheads in 2016.
Tragically, the former midfielder died in February 2018, four days before his 37th birthday, after receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Kompany, meanwhile, stayed with Anderlecht for another two years and then signed for Hamburg.
The 89-cap ace, who faces United as Burnley manager on Saturday, said in 2015: “United asked about me, but I had other priorities at the time.
“I was studying for my A-levels and my mother made me finish my education before I could concentrate on football.
“It’s a massive honour to be captain of Manchester City and I can tell you that I feel really good.
“I have put my sweat and blood into this club. I’m passionate about the club and I want success as much as the owners.”
Ferguson named Kompany as a transfer target way back in 2004
GettyLiam Miller, right, signed for United in the summer of 2004[/caption]
GettyKompany’s Burnley side host Manchester United on Saturday night[/caption]