5 Biggest Money Transfers in Manchester United History
Sir Alex Ferguson has never been scared to splash the cash during his tenure at Old Trafford.
In fact, the Manchester United manager has broken the British transfer fee five times to claim the talents of Roy Keane, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron, Rio Ferdinand and Andy Cole.
Ferguson’s unerring ability to expertly mix young and experienced players with expensive signings has been an integral reason for United’s prolonged period of success.
But which players have been the most expensive in United’s illustrious history? And did they ultimately prove to be money well spent?
Robin Van Persie, £24 Million
Many people questioned Ferguson’s decision to bring Robin Van Persie to Old Trafford in the summer of 2012.
The Dutchman had just turned 29, only had one year left on his contract, and despite having shown his striking pedigree at Arsenal over the previous 18 months, his consistent injury problems had blighted his Gunners’ career.
Ferguson knew though that his goals would prove to be the difference between United and Manchester City, who had pipped his side to the title on goal difference just months earlier.
Between August and March, Van Persie’s attacking demeanour helped lead United to a gargantuan Premier League advantage over their closest rivals, and despite the fact that his form has recently cooled, Van Persie’s first season for the club has still been a resounding success.
Wayne Rooney, £27 Million
Manchester United paid the highest ever transfer fee for a player under 20 when they acquired the services of Wayne Rooney from Everton in 2004.
And during his time at the club Rooney has not only claimed 4 Premier League titles and 1 UEFA Champions League trophy, but he has also produced numerous moments of quality that will forever live in the memories of United fans across the world.
But having been dropped for United’s crucial second-leg encounter against Real Madrid last month, rumours now continue to circulate that he could be on his way out of Old Trafford.
Even if he does leave the club over the next few months, his time at United will still be deemed a success.
Juan Sebastian Veron, £28.1 Million
Juan Sebastian Veron’s arrival at Manchester United was supposed to signal a new era of European dominance for the Red Devils.
The Argentinian was regarded as one of the most agile and creative players in the European game, but Veron failed to adapt to the faster and more aggressive style in England.
During his second year at Old Trafford, Veron improved dramatically, especially in Europe, but injuries eventually dismantled his progress.
By 2003, Ferguson had seen enough, and he decided to accept just £15 million from Chelsea for Veron, only two years after paying almost double that amount for him.
Rio Ferdinand, £29.3 Million
During his eleven years at Old Trafford Rio Ferdinand has blossomed into one of the greatest defenders in England.
Ferdinand’s strength, skill and pace has been at the heart of Ferguson’s defence for the last decade and his formidable partnership with Nemanja Vidic is regarded as one of the sternest in Premier League history.
The astronomical sum of money that United spent on Ferdinand back in 2002 now looks to have been a steal.
Dimitar Berbatov, £30.75 Million
Manchester United fans believed that the new Eric Cantona had arrived on the Old Trafford doorsteps when Dimitar Berbatov finally completed his protracted move from Tottenham in 2008.
However, despite his exquisite touch, vision and composure on the ball, Berbatov didn’t manage to manifest in quite the same manner as the French footballing deity.
Instead, United fans were constantly annoyed by his lazy nature and never quite took him to their hearts.
However, the Bulgarian did manage to claim six trophies during his four-year stint at the club and, he was also the top scorer in the Premier League in 2010/2011 season, so it wasn't all bad.