Sir Alex Ferguson has today revealed that AC Milan legend, Paolo Maldini, had been on his wanted list for years.

After starting with the youth team in the 1970’s, Maldini went on to play for the first team for 25 years, making a total of 902 appearances. Milan retired his number three shirt, only to be worn again if one of his sons plays for the first team.

Fergie said he knew the deal was a no go after meeting Maldini’s dad at a match.

“I always wanted to get Paolo here but it was impossible,” Ferguson said. “I met his father at a game and told him how much I’d love to have his son at United. Cesare smiled at me and said ‘My grandfather was Milan, my father was Milan, I played for Milan and now my son is Milan’. And that was it – story over!”