Michael Owen reveals Man United wanted to sign Karim Benzema

Michael Owen explains why Karim Benzema is one of his favourite players

Michael Owen has revealed that Manchester United were close to signing Karim Benzema in 2009.

The France international was reported to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s top target following their 11th Premier League title.

Benzema, who scored 17 times in 36 Ligue 1 games for Lyon during the 2008/09 campaign, opted to join Real Madrid ahead of United.

As a result, Ferguson signed former Liverpool and Madrid striker Owen on a free transfer to bolster his attacking options.

Speaking on BT Sport during their coverage of Madrid’s 2-0 win at Roma, Owen explained why Benzema is one of his favourite players.

“I was just saying before the show that he’s my favourite player and one of the lads said: ‘Why’s that?’. It’s because Benzema was Manchester United’s first choice before I signed for them,” Owen said.

“If he didn’t say yes to Real Madrid then I wouldn’t have been at Man United.”

While Benzema has gone on to score 156 goals in 305 games for Los Blancos in the past six seasons, Owen only managed to net just 17 times in 52 games for the Red Devils.

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The retired England striker was part of Ferguson’s United squad that won the Premier League crown in 2011.

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