The former Blues boss followed the Ghanaian midfielder when he was in Bastia and Lyon, but says attempts to buy him have failed.
Everton is reportedly trying to land Essien again, loaned in 2012 when he was at Chelsea, but was unable to close the deal.
Speaking as a guest at the beIN SPORTS Keys & Gray Show, Moyes was asked to name the players he was close to signing, but he didn’t – and Essien topped this list .
He said, “One of them would be Michael Essien [to Everton]
“Toni Kroos would certainly be the one [to Manchester United]
“At that time, we [Manchester United] were good after Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas but I have to say before that, at Everton, we were really close to a lot of good players. We just couldn’t cross them multiple times ”
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Moyes was also asked if he regretted leaving Goodison for the Manchester United position in 2013.
“I think I will always look back and regret leaving Everton because of the team and the players I had built at the time, but I will never regret joining Manchester United or to have done what I did, “he said.