Man U’s Fergie could have signed French star Ribery for free

June 17th, 2009 - 1:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Alex Ferguson London, June 17 (ANI): Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson could have signed French star Franck Ribery for nothing four years ago.Now, Ribery, who plays for Bayern Munich, commands a price that is as good, if not better than the 80-million pounds Manchester United will get for Portuguese winger Ronaldo, who moves to Real Madrid.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is also keen to snare 26-year-old Ribery.

German giants Bayern confirmed yesterday that their superstar French winger is the most wanted man in football.

United, European champions Barcelona, Chelsea and Madrid are all in the hunt for him.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed the first three have all made formal bids, while Real have just made an official inquiry to ask for a price.

Ribery got his Scarface nickname from the 1983 Hollywood blockbuster starring Al Pacino.

The damage came as the result of an horrific car accident when he was only two, which left him needing hundreds of stitches in his face and forehead.

But his injuries have not stopped him now becoming the hottest property in football.

The five foot seven inch ace is the one man everyone seems to want.

It is an amazing turnaround, as a mere four years ago he seemed destined for the scrapheap.

A journeyman in his early career, Ribery had four clubs in as many seasons in France.

He made his name at lowly Metz and then opted for an ill-advised move to join Galatasaray in January 2005. Aged just 21, it seemed a huge talent would be lost to the Turkish League. Yet later that summer, Ribery broke his contract after going unpaid for four months.

It was then that both Sir Alex and Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger, another great admirer, missed their chance to snap him up for nothing. Ribery ended up at Marseille, from where he joined Bayern for a club record 18 million pounds a couple of years ago. (ANI)

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