Arsenal’s rivalry with Manchester United was an ever-present part of the Premier League throughout the mid-2000s.
The Gunners defeated Sir Alex Ferguson’s United side on occasion but it was the Red Devils that would frequently dominate their encounters.
The legendary Scottish manager even beat his former foe, Arsene Wenger, to a number of high-profile signings, including Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy before signing van Nistelrooy’s compatriot Robin van Persie directly from Arsenal in 2012.
However, the most famous player that chose Manchester over north London was footballing icon Cristiano Ronaldo, who opted to move to Old Trafford in 2003 despite considerable interest from the aforementioned Wenger.
Back in 2019, Ronaldo admitted during an interview with Arsenal fan Piers Morgan that he was so close to joining the Gunners before choosing to join United instead.
“It’s true. Very close. One-stop, incredible. Seriously,” he said when asked if he was close to a move to Highbury all those years ago.
History could be set to repeat itself this month if some reports are to be believed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are interested in signing Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma, according to transfer expert Duncan Castles.
Castles told the Transfer Window podcast: “Along with those players we mentioned [Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelian Tchouameni and Saul] as options for Manchester United’s midfield, Bissouma is also being looked at by them.
“They know Bissouma has two years left of contract at Brighton and is keen to move to a higher-status club, keen to play European football.”
United signing Bissouma would be a huge blow for the Gunners, who have been persistently linked with the Malian international this summer.
football.london first revealed Arsenal’s interest in Bissouma back in January, stating that he was highly admired by the north London club and a close friend of the 24-year-old told football.london that he ‘loves the Premier League’ and would choose to join Arsenal over any other Premier League club if they made a move for him.
However, given technical director Edu has already sanctioned five transfers this summer for a combined £130million, including Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, then perhaps a deal for Bissouma is less likely, giving United a higher chance of landing the tough-tackling Brighton maestro.
Furthermore, Scottish midfielder Scott McTominay has pulled out of his national team’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers next month after undergoing groin surgery, meaning the Red Devils are more likely to make a move for a midfielder before the transfer window slams shut on August 31.
Source by Football London