Sir Alex Ferguson identified Paul Scholes' replacement but he ended up at Man City 3 years ago

Sir Alex Ferguson identified Paul Scholes' replacement but he ended up at Man City

Finding a replacement for Paul Scholes was never going to be easy.

Scholes has gone down as one of the greatest midfielders in Premier League history and Manchester United have never really filled the void left by the English legend.

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Sure, Michael Carrick stepped into the Scholes role when he hung up his boots for good in 2013 but Carrick never really provided the kind of goalscoring threat that Scholes did in his prime.

Before Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, which coincided with Scholes', the legendary United manager had identified the perfect successor to his midfield maestro.

Ferguson was massively impressed by what Ilkay Gundogan was doing at Borussia Dortmund and scouted the German international as the ideal replacement for Scholes.

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Former United coach Rene Meulensteen has revealed that the Red Devils were once seriously considering signing Gundogan, as well as Marco Reus.

"If Fergie had carried on then we would have had the same squad. We would have added some more quality, probably some more energy," Meulensteen told the Evening Standard.

"We were looking at Gundogan from Dortmund and Reus at that time.

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"We were looking at Gundogan - someone similar (to Scholes), who could keep ticking the ball over, thinks quick and has tempo."

Gundogan ended up moving to United's arch-rivals Manchester City in 2016 and played in 30 of City's Premier League games last season, when Pep Guardiola masterminded a stunning title victory.