Owen: I was Fergie’s Plan B to Real Madrid star at Man Utd

Michael Owen admits he would never have moved to Manchester United back in 2009 had Sir Alex Ferguson signed his No 1 choice.

The former England striker caused something of a stir by moving to Old Trafford on a free transfer from Newcastle  that summer, with his ties to Liverpool dividing opinion among supporters of the North-West rivals.

But Owen admits he was fortunate to find himself playing under Ferguson, with the legendary United manager prioritising a move for Karim Benzema ahead of him.

Owen told French broadcaster Canal+: “I’ve got a lot to thank him [Benzema] for.

“He might not know but I wouldn’t have gone to Manchester United if it wasn’t for Benzema because I think Manchester United wanted to buy Benzema, and he chose Real Madrid.”

Elaborating more, Owen continued: “I was told by Sir Alex Ferguson that ‘we want Benzema, but if Benzema doesn’t come then you’re coming’.

“So I was pleading with Benzema to go to Real Madrid – so thank you to him.”

Benzema joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for a fee of €35million and has gone on to score 182 times in 377 games for the club.

Owen, meanwhile, stayed at Old Trafford for three seasons, scoring 17 times in 52 appearances, before winding down his career at Stoke.


Like our dedicated Manchester Utd Facebook page.