Luciano Pavarotti, the Italian tenor who died this morning aged 71, was the subject of a secret Manchester United transfer bid as far back as 1955, it has been claimed.
Sir Matt Busby, the Reds' manager at the time, tried to sign the fledgling centre-half, but was thwarted when the young Pavarotti decided to stay in Italy and further his education.
The Italian subsequently went on to pursue a future career in yodelling rather than make the trip to the Theatre of Dread at Old Trafford and the incessant rain that persists in the area.
Reports that Chelsea also tried to sign Pavarotti remain unsubstantiated.
Pavarotti would doubtless have teamed up with the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, his big brother Jack, and Duncan Edwards had he chosen to take up football rather than crooning, and could have achieved great things as a United regular if things had turned out differently and he had learned to speak like a Manc.
The 'Greatest Singer in the World' was diagnosed last year with pancreatic cancer, and died at his home in the northern city of Modena with his family at his bedside.
Speaking on the United website, Sir Bobby said:
"He would've made a marvellous sweeper wunt 'e?"