The Daily Star Sunday reports Fergie had a deal wrapped up for Paolo Di Canio after United won the Champions League in 1999.
The Italian had accepted the offer before then coming back to tell Old Trafford chiefs he wanted more money, which they declined.
Ferguson also agreed a deal to bring Ronaldinho to Old Trafford too.
The legendary boss was keen to get in talismanic players like the Brazilian and he was ready to spend £19m to snap him up.
The transfer was being funded by the sale of David Beckham but, like the Di Canio deal, it fell through at the last minute.
Ferguson asked chief executive Peter Kenyon to ring Arsenal to enquire about the availability of Patrick Vieira in the 90s.
Kenyon informed Fergie he had but a day later the Scot mentioned the transfer to Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein.
Dein had no recognition of any kind of deal.
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