In the summer of 2004, Arjen Robben signed for Chelsea when it had previously looked as though he was going to sign for Manchester.
In an interview with FourFourTwo, Robben reveals that he would have signed for United instead of Chelsea if the club put an offer in, but claims United dropped their interest after his meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson.
I had a very good conversation with [Ferguson] over dinner in Manchester and we spoke about football and life. I also went and had a good look around the training ground and everything was good. But after I went back to PSV nothing happened. There was no real contact and the deal didn’t happen. PSV were also negotiating with Chelsea at that time, so maybe they offered PSV more money? I don’t really know.
I spoke to Chelsea and I liked their plans. We had one meeting and everything was done pretty quickly. Had Manchester United offered me a deal straight after I met them, I would have signed there, but it didn’t happen and I’ve got no regrets.
Robben won the league with Chelsea in his first two seasons, before United went on to claim the title three years in a row and beat Chelsea in the Champions League final the season before he left.