Michael Owen admits that Karim Benzema’s rejection of Sir Alex Ferguson has allowed Manchester United to move

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‘I only came to Manchester United because he chose Real Madrid’: Michael Owen admits that Karim Benzema’s rejection of Sir Alex Ferguson was the reason behind his Old Trafford switch after playing for bitter rivals Liverpool.

  • Michael Owen revealed that Karim Benzema’s rejection of Manchester United helped him
  • The Englishman joined United after they were unable to take over Benzema from Lyon
  • Sir Alex Ferguson was desperate to try and get the Frenchman to Old Trafford
  • Owen praised the forward for his all-round play after a brilliant season for Real Madrid

Michael Owen revealed that Manchester United only signed him because Sir Alex Ferguson was unable to convince Karim Benzema to join the club.

The Englishman arrived at Old Trafford in 2009 and spent three years in Manchester, with his first home goal in the form of a 96-minute winner that gave his side a 4-3 win over rival Manchester City.

But speaking ahead of the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League draw with Real Madrid, Owen admitted he would never have joined United. Benzema decided to move to England instead of Spain when he left Lyon.

Michael Owen says he only joined Manchester United because Karim Benzema turned them down

The Frenchman joined Real Madrid when he left Lyon, despite Sir Alex Ferguson's wish to sign him

The Frenchman joined Real Madrid when he left Lyon, despite Sir Alex Ferguson’s wish to sign him

“I only came to United because he chose Real Madrid instead of United,” Owen told BT Sport.

“The first time I got a call from Sir Alex Ferguson, he said,” We want to sign Benzema, if we don’t get him … (we’ll get you). ”

The Madrid striker has been in excellent form this season with 28 goals in all competitions, including a crucial equalizer in last week’s first leg against Chelsea.

Benzema spent much of his early career in Spain as second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is the main man for Zinedine Zidane’s squad today.

‘Yes, he’s in great shape. Who won’t be in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo when he’s at your club? Owen said.

‘It’s in great shape, it has different finishes with both feet. Brilliant in the air, it sets or goes for power.

Benzema has been in top form for Madrid this season with 28 goals in all competitions to date

Benzema has been in top form for Madrid this season with 28 goals in all competitions to date

‘He can also connect. He’s got power when he needs it, he’s brilliant in the air and when he sees an opportunity he knows his teammate next to him, but I’m the striker – I’m the selfish one. ‘

Rio Ferdinand played against Benzema in 2008 while the striker was still in Lyon, as Manchester United beat the French side in the Champions League.

The BT expert confirmed that his former manager had long been an admirer of the French and was desperate to take him to Old Trafford.

“The first time I played him, Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign him,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

He spoke to him in the tunnel after the game and the Lyon officials had to pull him away. His movement that day was brilliant. ‘

Rio Ferdinand revealed how much Ferguson Benzema wanted to bring to Old Trafford in 2008

Rio Ferdinand revealed how much Ferguson Benzema wanted to bring to Old Trafford in 2008

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