Former Paraguay international Salvador Cabanas said he was close to joining Manchester United eight years ago before becoming involved in a nightclub shooting.
Cabanas survived being shot in the head in Mexico City in January 2010 but was eventually forced to retire four years later.
"I had signed a pre-contract agreement for $1.7 million for a transfer to Europe," he said in an interview on Paraguay television station Telefuturo. "They told me my destination would be Manchester United.
"Club America doubled my salary and gave me one apartment in Acapulco and another in Cancun to try to keep me at the club."
Cabanas, 38, represented Paraguay at the 2006 World Cup and was named South American footballer of the year in 2007.
"I realise that when you play you are a star and when you do not, no one pays attention to you afterwards," he said. "It is ungrateful. I was an idol in Paraguay. No one from the Paraguayan Football Association and no teammate came to me at my worst moment.
"The common people do remember me. I respect them a lot and that's what always gets you up. This is life. Part of the life of football is like that."