And then there were three. Hat-tricks against Barcelona are rarities but Manchester United have a treble of sorts involving the European champions.
For the third successive summer, their attempts to sign a player from the Nou Camp have come to naught. Indeed, on each occasion, a United manager has remained unconvinced of the merits of one who has shown his class in Catalonia. First it was Thiago Alcantara, who headed to Bayern Munich as David Moyes dithered. Then, in 2014, Moyes’ target Cesc Fabregas went to Chelsea as Louis van Gaal opted not to bid for the midfielder.