Michael Owen has confessed that Real Madrid frontman Karim Benzema was Manchester United’s first choice striker target prior to signing the former England forward.
The former Madrid and Liverpool sensation moved to the Red Devils during the same transfer window that the France international parted ways with Lyon.
Owen spent three years at Manchester United during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at the Premier League giants. United’s number 7, Owen’s spell was injury-plagued and he seldom started between 2009 and 2012.
Owen did however, score one of the Manchester Derby’s most iconic goals.
Despite his heroics, the ex-Liverpool star admits that Benzema was Ferguson’s preferred target at the time of his transfer and knows that had United obtained him, he would never have got a look in:
“I was just saying before the show that he’s my favourite player and one of the lads said, ‘Why’s that?’ and it’s because Benzema was Manchester United’s first choice before I signed for them,” Owen told his BT Sport colleagues.
“If he didn’t say yes to Real Madrid then I wouldn’t have been at Man United.”
The French striker moved to Los Blancos from Lyon at almost the same time that Owen was finalising his Old Trafford switch.
“[For that reason] he’s one of my favourite players. But his stats this season are phenomenal, even better than previous seasons,” he added.