Former Paraguay and America striker Salvador Cabanas has revealed that he had agreed a move to Manchester United before the tragic shooting that all but ended his career at the top level.
Cabanas was regarded as one of South America’s finest goalscorers in his heyday, and was named the continent’s Footballer of the Year in 2007 as well as finishing as the Copa Libertadores top scorer two years running.
But in January 2010, shortly after leading Paraguay to a spot in the World Cup with six strikes in qualifying, Cabanas was shot in the head in a Mexican nightclub after an altercation with a known drug trafficker.
Now working in Paraguayan capital Asuncion selling bread, Cabanas revealed that he was set to line up at Old Trafford before his life was turned upside down.
“I had signed a pre-contract agreement for £1.3m for a transfer to Europe. They told me my destination would be Manchester United,” he told Telefuturo.
“Club America doubled my salary and gave me one apartment in Acapulco and another in Cancun to try and keep me at the club.”
Cabanas’ recovery from the serious head injuries sustained in the attack was marred by conflicts with America over unpaid wages, and he admits that he felt isolated during that period.