Manchester United have a history of being involved in last-minute transfer battles when it comes to securing new signings.
In recent weeks the Premier League side were battling to bring Darwin Nunez to Old Trafford, only for Liverpool to steal a march and wrap up a deal in double-quick time.
United have come out on top more often than not in such scenarios, beating Man City to Dimitar Berbatov, Alexis Sanchez and, more recently, Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, the most dramatic example stretches back to 2002 and their controversial signing of Diego Forlan.
The Argentine international scored some crucial goals during his two and a half years at the club, including a memorable brace in a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in December 2002.
But things could, and should, have been much different.
After impressing for Argentine side Independiente, the 22-year-old was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League.
It was Middlesbrough who were set to sign Forlan after chief executive Keith Lamb flew to Argentina to thrash out the complex deal with the player, the club and Forlan’s agent.
go for it
Grealish in, Sterling and Maguire out – England’s attacking XI at 2022 World Cup
Jesus closes in on Arsenal move, Bissouma in London for Tottenham medical
Premier League fixture release day LIVE: Palace v Arsenal kicks off season
Dutch winger says teammates call him ‘trouble’ and critics ‘are secretly big fans’
Haaland shocked at height during Man City medical and suggests he’s still growing
Ex-Man United youngster reveals Mourinho ‘b*****ing’ left him on verge of tears
After agreeing a £6.2million deal with his club, Middlesbrough flew the player over from Argentina to complete a deal.
Arriving at Gatwick Airport on the morning of January 18, 2002, Forlan and his representatives were ready to complete the move only for an eleventh-hour approach from Sir Alex Ferguson swiftly turned his head.
Taking advantage of a minor delay in the financial breakdown of the deal, United put together a proposal of their own and managed to convince Forlan to divert his journey from the north east and instead, travel in the direction of Manchester.
Speaking of his decision at the time, Forlan said: “We are flying to Manchester, and I am signing for Manchester United.
“Manchester United is a very big club, so I have decided to go there. They have made the offer and now I have only to sign the contract.”
Forlan ended up signing for United in a £6.9million deal, but endured a tough start to life at Old Trafford.
It took 18 appearances for the striker to get his first goal for the club, before going on to get 10 goals in 63 league appearances for the club.
But despite his disappointing time at United, Forlan went on to thrive in La Liga with the next seven years proving just how prolific he could be by succeeding during spells with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.
He tried to persuade Nunez to reject Liverpool, saying it ‘would be spectacular’ to see him play for United, but the 22-year-old was only ever heading to Anfield.
And Liverpool fans will be hoping he instead follows in the footsteps of compatriot Luis Suarez, who represented the club so well during his time on Merseyside.
He’s got the competitive streak and him and Kopites will hope his Urugyan ‘Garra Charrua’ spirit sees him hit the ground running against Fulham on 6 August.
Offers Of The Day
888Sport – Bet £20 On Horse Racing, Get £40 In Free Bets For Royal Ascot* – CLAIM HERE
Bet365 – Bet £10 Get £50 In Free Bets* – CLAIM HERE
888Sport: Min deposit £/€/$10 • Offer is valid until 18/06/2022 23:59 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$20 on Horse Racing market • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets expire after 5 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org
Bet365: Open account offer. Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply 18+ Begambleaware.org