Sir Alex Ferguson wanted Ilkay Gundogan to replace Paul Scholes at Manchester United, says Rene Meulensteen
Last Updated: 13/09/18 1:43pm
Ilkay Gundogan was one of Sir Alex Ferguson's final targets before the Manchester United boss retired in 2013, according to the club's former coach Rene Meulensteen.
Ferguson called time on his coaching career after steering United to a 13th Premier League title in the 2012-13 season.
A memorable campaign saw Robin van Persie score 26 times, while it was also midfielder Paul Scholes' final year at Old Trafford after he was talked out of retirement by Ferguson in early 2012.
Meulensteen - a first-teach coach under Ferguson at the time - admitted Gundogan, then of Borussia Dortmund, was wanted by the Scot as a replacement for Scholes.
"If Fergie had carried on then we would have added some more quality, probably some more energy," Meulensteen told the Evening Standard.
"I wouldn't say it was an ageing squad, it was a mature squad.
"I'm sure if Fergie would have stayed the continuity and stability would've been there and United would've competed for the title again.
"We were looking at Gundogan from Dortmund and (Marco) Reus at that time.
"We were looking at Gundogan - someone similar [to Scholes], who could keep ticking the ball over, thinks quick and has tempo."
United finished seventh the season after Ferguson and Scholes left the club, with a troublesome campaign seeing David Moyes sacked after 10 months in charge.
Cesc Fabregas, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale were among a number of players Moyes had targeted during his one-and-only pre-season as United boss.
Moves for the trio failed to materialise, however, with the Scot going on to sign Marouane Fellaini from former club Everton.