Phelan, who played for United between 1989 to 1994, has yet to announce which players United were after, but it’s understood that Real Madrid duo Gareth Bale and former United favourite Cristiano Ronaldo were the top targets on Fergie’s wish list. United failed to sign both players and instead bought Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini from Everton for £27.5million.
“If Sir Alex and David Gill had still been the bosses, I won’t name the player, but there would have been a star signing – one of the absolute best players in the world,” Phelan said.
“It was something the boss talked about, and the owners and David Gill were also quite clear on doing it. There’s very few of such players out there. I think it’s clear to everybody who I’m talking about.
“One such star signing gives everybody a lift, we saw that with Robin van Persie.“
United are currently in 8th place, eight points behind league leaders Arsenal.