United wouldn’t pay up for Robben.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t pay £12m to sign Arjen Robben back in 2004, according to Goal.com.
The ex-England international, currently working as a pundit for the BBC at this summer’s World Cup, admits he has been extremely impressed by Robben’s displays for the Netherlands, who have started the tournament in blistering form with two wins and eight goals so far, three scored by the Bayern Munich winger.
It is thought that new United boss Louis van Gaal is keen to sign his fellow Dutchman this summer, but he would no doubt command a mammoth fee now, whereas the Red Devils supposedly had the chance to sign him on the cheap when he was still a youngster at PSV.
United had a £5m bid for the player rejected by the Eredivisie club before Robben eventually went to Chelsea, where he made an instant impact as he fired the Blues to the Premier League title in 2004/05.
The 30-year-old has since played for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in his career, but has really taken his game to a new level in the last couple of seasons with some superb displays for club and country.
“Arjen Robben has been the outstanding player of the tournament for me so far, and not for the first time I’ve being thinking ‘if only’ about the missed opportunity Manchester United had to sign him when he was young,” Ferdinand said.
“He should have been a United player. He would have fitted in.
“He had a brilliant breakthrough season with PSV in 2002-03, a campaign in which he turned 19, and Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign him.
“United made a bid of something around £5m and Sir Alex was always determined he wouldn’t over-pay for any player.
“When that was rejected, Chelsea paid something like £12m.”
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