Arjen Robben has revealed he was ready to sign for Manchester United after having dinner with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2003 – but they never offered him a deal.
Dutch star Robben travelled to Carrington as a 19-year-old in December 2003 to meet Ferguson ahead of a potential move from PSV Eindhoven.
After a positive meeting, Robben returned to Eindhoven believing he was about to join another teenage sensation – Cristiano Ronaldo – at Old Trafford but United were unwilling to meet PSV’s asking price.
Robben told FourFourTwo magazine: “I had a very good conversation with him (Ferguson) over dinner in Manchester and we spoke about football and life.
“I also went and had a good look around the training ground and everything was good, but after I went back to PSV nothing happened.
“There was no real contact and the deal didn’t happen. PSV were also negotiating with Chelsea at that time, so maybe they offered PSV more money? I don’t really know.
“I spoke to Chelsea and I liked their plans. We had one meeting and everything was done pretty quickly.
“Had Manchester United offered me a deal straight after I met them, I would have signed there, but it didn’t happen and I have got no regrets.”