Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Alex Ferguson was desperate to sign striker Karim Benzema.
Ferguson oversaw the arrival of some outstanding strikers during his 25 years at Old Trafford. The likes of Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Andy Cole arrived under his watch.
A striker that Ferguson admired but failed to bring to Manchester United was Karim Benzema.
According to Ferdinand, Ferguson was ‘desperate’ to sign Benzema as a kid – presumably during his time at Lyon.
“I love him, I played against him at Lyon and he was so impressive,” he told BT Sport.
“Sir Alex Ferguson was desperate to sign him as a kid, and you can see why. This guy has had a sustained amount of success at the top level.”
Benzema found the net against Manchester City on Friday for his 27th goal of the season. Real Madrid however crashed out of Europe after a 4-2 loss on aggregate.
The striker has been outstanding since arriving at Madrid in 2009. Ferguson spoke of United’s interest in Benzema at the time:
“We tried to spend on Karim Benzema as, at 21, I felt that there would be an improvement there.
“He is tough, good physique, a good goal scoring record, so it was worth going a wee bit extra for him because of his age.
“But when it went to £42 million and it was beyond his value. We went to £35m and I think that was fair.”
Benzema captained Madrid against City but even his goal could not stop Pep Guardiola’s side impressively advancing to the last eight.
Despite this early exit, it was a strong season for Madrid. Benzema’s side won ten league games in a row after the restart to clinch the La Liga title.
It was their first league title since the 2016/17 season and their 34th in total.