Arjen Robben has revealed that he was ready to join Manchester United in 2003 before he joined Chelsea from PSV Eindhoven.
In an interview with FourFourTwo Magazine, Arjen Robben has revealed that he was prepared to join Manchester United after having dinner with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2003. But, the Bayern Munich superstar wasn’t offered a deal by the Red Devils, and he opted to join their rivals Chelsea instead.
Robben has been one of the standout attacking players in the world for the better part of the last decade and a half, having been a key figure for Chelsea and Bayern Munich while also representing Real Madrid for two seasons. At Bayern, the Dutchman has been exemplary on the right flank, with his trademark cut-ins proving to be a nightmare for defenders to this day.
Over the last nine seasons, Robben has made nearly 300 appearances for Die Roten, with a fantastic haul of 137 goals and 97 assists to show for his efforts. But, his career could well have panned out entirely differently, as he revealed that he had his heart set on a move to Manchester United after dining with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2003.
The Red Devils indeed were interested in Robben, who even took a tour of their training ground. But, an offer never arrived from Manchester United, and the Dutch winger ended up joining Chelsea instead in a £12 million deal in the summer of 2004, with United signing Wayne Rooney in a £30 million deal in the same window.
“I had a very good conversation with [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 [from Manchester United] 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.”
Robben would eventually go on to enjoy a successful stint with Chelsea, where he would win two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup, having often been a go-to man for Jose Mourinho, now the Manchester United manager.
As far as Manchester United are concerned, it is all a matter of “what could have been” had they signed Robben. The Red Devils have attempted to secure his services in recent years, but the former Chelsea superstar is admittedly happy with his role at Bayern Munich, where he remains a key figure.