It was recently revealed that Manchester United had turned down Darwin Nunez amid suspicions over a food poisoning excuse. The Uruguay international has now joined Liverpool instead. And he now joins Isco and Matthijs de Ligt in being players the club have declined to land for some rather odd reasons.
The Athletic revealed earlier in the week that, before Benfica locked horns with Liverpool last season, United attempted to make a move for Nunez.
It was stated that the Red Devils arranged to meet Benfica president Rui Costa to try and thrash out a deal.
However, Costa and his family were apparently suffering from food poisoning after celebrating the former AC Milan star’s birthday.
That then saw the meeting postponed, with United apparently viewing it as a potential snub.
And that allowed Liverpool to land the 22-year-old instead, with Nunez excited to get started.
After it was confirmed he’d be moving to Anfield, the Uruguay international said: “One of the reasons I came here to Liverpool — to win trophies and titles.
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“I want to win a lot of trophies at Liverpool.
“When I arrived at the training ground, I was really surprised to see the set-up and the structure and all the trophies here.
“You can then imagine yourself winning more trophies. And then later on when you come here again and see the trophies on display.
“You can say, ‘Look, I was a part of that, I was there at that time, winning trophies’.”
And Nunez has now joined Isco and De Ligt in being players United have failed to sign for some rather bizarre reasons.
Journalist Andy Mitten, writing for ESPN in August 2017, revealed the Red Devils had been interested in Isco during his time at Malaga.
But, ultimately, they turned him down because his head was too big for his body – according to their scouts.
“Towards the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at Manchester United, a senior club scout was dispatched to assess Isco, then at Malaga,” he wrote.
“The player was watched several times, before the report was filed back that he wasn’t considered good enough to move to Manchester United.
“’He’s good, but not quite quick enough and his head is too big for his body,’ was the verdict on the then 21-year-old playmaker.”
Isco made United look foolish.
He’s been at Real Madrid ever since leaving Malaga and, during his stint at the Bernabeu, has won four Champions League titles.
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The 30-year-old has also been involved in the club’s three La Liga triumphs since 2017, too.
But he’s poised to leave the La Liga giants this term, having been at the club ever since 2013.
Then, there’s De Ligt.
Back in the summer transfer window of 2019, United were among the teams eyeing the centre-back – who had impressed for Ajax amid their surge to the Champions League semi-finals that year.
However, The Mirror revealed at the time that the Red Devils had actually turned down De Ligt in the past.
It was claimed that Marcel Bout, the club’s scout at the time, told the club that De Ligt’s father was ‘significantly overweight’.
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And this deterred United, who were worried the centre-back would also be susceptible to putting on weight as he got older.
This, apparently, sparked fears De Ligt would lose his pace, power and athleticism.
So United actually ended up landing Harry Maguire instead, who has struggled for consistency throughout his time at the club.
If United had Isco, De Ligt and Nunez now, fans would likely be feeling more upbeat about the future.
But there’s a doom and gloom mood engulfing the Red Devils at present, with the club yet to make any signings so far this summer.
Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen are two of their top targets, having done well for Barcelona and Brentford respectively last season. Yet, as the summer goes on, there’s still no indication either player will move to Old Trafford.