Sir Alex Ferguson regrets not signing Frank Lampard earlier in his career.
Lampard is said to be on the verge of agreeing a new contract with Chelsea given the likely return of his former boss Jose Mourinho in the summer. The 34-year-old has scored 16 goals this term, taking him onto 201 career goals for the Blues, just one short of Bobby Tambling's club record.
At one stage this season, it was suggested Manchester United might snap the midfielder up if Chelsea did not. And, as the two clubs prepare to do battle at Old Trafford, Ferguson has admitted he once thought about it. "Lampard has been unbelievable," said Ferguson.
"I don't think a midfield player will be able to do that figure again. It's quite phenomenal.
"Like Bryan Robson, he has had a great knack of timing his runs into the box at the right time. John Wark was another one at Ipswich.
"The other things is I can't remember Lampard ever being injured.
"When he's not been playing it's because they thought he was past it.
"The guy has had a great career. I must say we looked at him when he was at West Ham as a young player and I maybe regret not having done it.
"Where else could I get 200 goals?"