“I wanted to go” – Champions League star was keen to join Man United

General view of the Champions League match ball.

REUTERS/Darren Staples

Manchester United could’ve signed Robert Lewandowski under Sir Alex Ferguson, but Jurgen Klopp stopped the move from happening.

The Old Trafford outfit will return to the transfer market in the summer window in search of a striker to lead their line, having gone another season without a reliable number nine in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Although things could’ve been a lot different had the former United manager managed to secure the signing of Lewandowski 12 years ago.

The Poland international, who faced the Red Devils for the first time in his career in February, was on Ferguson’s radar. The legendary manager made an approach when he was at Borussia Dortmund.

In an exclusive interview with Sport Bild (via SportWitness), Lewandowski said: “I remember the moment exactly. We had a friendly with Dortmund in preparation, I think against Bochum. I was subbed at half-time. I looked at my mobile phone in the dressing room. There was a text message with the sender +44. Ferguson had tried to call me and then sent me a message. He wanted to talk to me.”

“I was 22 years old, it was a special moment. I spoke to Aki Watzke and Jurgen Klopp in the camp. I wanted to go to Man United! But they said: ‘No chance, Robert. We need you. You have to stay,” the 34-year-old added.

Lewandowski continued to impress in Germany, eventually earning a move to Bayern Munich, where he won countless domestic titles and the Champions League trophy in 2020. He played at Old Trafford in his maiden season with Barcelona.

United, meanwhile, ended up signing Robin van Persie from Arsenal in 2012. The Dutch striker did help Ferguson win his 13th Premier League title but his form dipped rapidly following the Scot’s retirement.

Since then, no United player has managed to bag 20 league goals in a season. In the same period, Lewandowski has managed to reach the mark in all but one campaign. For Barcelona, he has scored 17 goals in La Liga so far.