The Scot took over in the summer of 2013, after Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down after 27 years in charge.
Moyes’ only acquisition during the transfer window was Marouane Fellaini on deadline day. At that time, Bale was at Tottenham Hotspur, Fabregas at Barcelona, Ronaldo at Real Madrid and Kroos at Bayern Munich.
Moyes said: “When I first went in, my real target was Gareth Bale. I felt all along that Gareth Bale was a Manchester United player.
“I fought right until the last minute. We actually offered a bigger deal than Real Madrid. But Gareth had his mind made up on going to Real Madrid. That was, in my mind, the player I really wanted to bring to Manchester United.
“The other one was Cesc Fabregas, who we thought we would get right up until the last minute. I remember, when I first met Sir Alex, and he always said there was a chance Ronaldo might come back.
“Toni Kroos was agreed to come in the summer. I had agreed it with Toni himself and his agent.
“So that was the level we were targeting. We had a squad which had just won the league. I wanted to gradually make changes as I went along, not make wholesale changes.”
When asked if his spell in charge would have been different if he had signed those players, Moyes replied: “I don’t know. A lot of players come into Manchester United and have not necessarily made the difference.
“But I think that, given time and having got to this period, I would have hoped I would be working with a successful team now.”