Sir Alex Ferguson rejected the idea of bringing Franck Ribery to Manchester United after personally scouting the player, a report has claimed.
The France star was just beginning to make a name for himself when the legendary United boss went to watch the then Marseille star in action – with a view to making a concrete bid for the player.
It was claimed the Ferguson’s scouts had recommended Ribery, who went on to sign for Bayern Munich, as a potential big-money recruit by United. But the Scot thought otherwise after making a personal check on the player in Bolton’s UEFA Cup tie with Marseille back in February 2006.
The claims are made by Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell, who has released his diaries which cover a wide range of topics between 2005 and 2007. Campbell was at the game alongside Ferguson, who’d told him Ribery was the subject of his attendance at the match.
But according to the Sunday Times, Ferguson was less than impressed with the French midfielder.
“Alex was watching Franck Ribery, the Marseille winger,” Campbell wrote. “But decided by half-time that he was not good enough for United.”
Ribery then went on to make a €25million move to Bayern Munich in June 2007 and has gone on to win seven Bundesliga titles and the Champions League during his decade-long stint in Bavaria.
The French player also finished in third place behind Lionel Messi and winner Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or.