Sir Alex Ferguson opted against trying to sign Franck Ribery for Manchester United in 2006 after only watching him for 45 minutes.
That is according to the latest set of diaries published by Tony Blair’s former communications chief Alastair Campbell, a close friend former Red Devils boss Ferguson.
Campbell was in Ferguson’s company as the pair watched Ribery, then at Marseille, take on Bolton Wanderers in the UEFA Cup in February 2006, according to the Sunday Times.
However, Ferguson apparently claimed the French winger – who went on to be named Ligue 1 Player of the Year for that season – was not good enough for United.
Campbell wrote: “Alex was watching Franck Ribery, the Marseille winger, but decided by half-time he was not good enough for United.”
Ribery remained at Marseille until 2007 before switching to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich for a reported €25 million.
He has since gone on to win numerous honours with the German outfit including seven league titles and the 2012-13 Champions League.