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Sir Alex Ferguson broke self-imposed transfer rule for ONE Man United player as 2001 FA Cup story recalled



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Sir Alex Ferguson would never ask his Manchester United players about potential signings until one FA Cup tie in January 2001.

Man United became the first English club to ever win The Treble two seasons earlier and won their second Premier League in a row in the 1999/00 campaign.

During the following season, they were looking comfortable at the top of the table come January, another title they would eventually win, but Ferguson was still on alert for any marginal gains in the transfer market.

In January of that season, United turned their attention to an FA Cup third-round clash against high-flying Championship side Fulham.

The Cottagers were leading the second tier at the time and would go on to win the competition, earning automatic promotion to the Premier League with a staggering 101 points.

And whilst United edged the west London side 2-1 on the day, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham scoring the goals, it was Fulham’s no.20 who impressed Ferguson the most in the game.

Louis Saha caused The Reds all sorts of problems during the FA Cup clash alongside strike partner Luis Boa Morte. Saha would finish that season with 32 goals and four assists.

Gary Neville, who started at right-back on the day, has recalled the moment after the match when Ferguson broke his own rule on asking his players about signings.

“Sir Alex never asked us which players we should sign or never asked us information about players he was going to sign,” Neville told Sky Sports

“But after we played Fulham one time in the FA Cup, he actually asked us as defenders, would we sign Louis Saha? We all said “yes” straight away.”

It would not be until the January transfer window in 2004 that Ferguson would secure the signature of Saha for a fee of £12.4 million.

He played 124 games for the Old Trafford club, scoring 42 and assisting 17 times.

“I remember the season where he was playing up front with Wazza [Wayne Rooney] in 2006, and it was unbelievable; they were fantastic together.” Neville continued.

“Louis was a brilliant, brilliant player. He gave me absolute nightmares when I used to play against him when he played for Fulham – him and Luis Boa Morte.”