According to Ferguson, if Southampton had responded to United's inquiry about Gareth Bale, the Welshman would be a United player.
Instead, Bale went to Tottenham, since when he has gone on to become one of the Premier League's star names, pipping Robin van Persie for both the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards over the past week.
"We were disappointed in Southampton because we were first there but they never came back to us," said Ferguson. "He was a left back when we tried to sign him from Southampton.
"He reminds me a bit of when we signed Lee Sharpe. He was a six foot, gangly slim boy but all of a sudden he was built like a light-heavyweight American boxer.
"Bale is the same given the way he has developed physically in the last two years. He has matured very well."
Ferguson has already confirmed he has a few ideas in mind for the summer, even though executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward claimed on Thursday there was no need for "major retooling" of the Red Devils squad. There are some players who appear surplus to requirements though, including midfielder Anderson and wide-man Nani.
Nani has made more of an impact but his contract is due to expire next year and so far, the respective parties are poles apart in their valuations. However, Ferguson insists no one is going anywhere, saying: "We have no plans to sell anyone."
He added: "That's a fact. There is no need for us to sell anyone. Nani played last week at Arsenal and he did well. When he is in form there are very few better than him. So I think we will bring him back in pre-season training and he will be all right."
Ferguson did confirm there had been no progress with the Portugal international's contract negotiations though and it is highly unlikely United would allow Nani to simply run his contract down.
- Sports & Recreation
- Gareth Bale