United 'explored' Ribery deal
Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Manchester United 'explored' the potential for a deal to sign Bayern Munich ace Franck Ribery. France international Ribery has been a target for many of Europe's leading clubs, with Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid expressing an interest. Chelsea have also been linked with the winger, but Bayern have been adamant that the club will not be cashing in on the 26-year-old. United were rumoured to be readying a bid as the Premier League champions sought to spend some of the world record windfall from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real. However, Ferguson confirmed a polite enquiry was met with a firm response from Bayern, who sold Owen Hargreaves to United two years ago. Absolutely no chance "We didn't try to buy Ribery, we explored it in a nice, quiet way when David Gill was at one of his meetings with Bayern in March," said Ferguson. "They told him, 'absolutely no chance' and the one thing you can say about Bayern is that, when they say something, they mean it. "When we negotiated with them over Hargreaves, at the beginning they said 'no', but they also said that, if it ever changed, their minds, we'd be the first to know. "It was exactly the same this time. There is no way that they will sell Ribery." Ferguson also considered signing Karim Benzema from Lyon, but conceded he did not want to pay over the odds for the Real new boy. He added: "We tried to spend it (the Ronaldo money) on Karim Benzema as, at 21, I felt that there would be an improvement there. "He is tough, good physique, a good goalscoring record, so it was worth going a wee bit extra for him because of his age. "But when it went to £42million, it was beyond his value. We went to £35million and I think that was fair."
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