Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski has revealed how he was courted by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Lewandowski was still at Borussia Dortmund at the time, before his eventual move to Bayern Munich.
With United searching for a new striker and Lewandowski a hot property, a call was made by Ferguson.
“I remember the moment exactly,” the striker said during an interview with Sport Bild.
“We had a friendly with Dortmund in preparation, I think, against Bochum. I was substituted at half-time.
“I looked at my mobile phone in the dressing room. There was a text message with the sender +44. [Sir Alex] Ferguson had tried to call me and then sent me a message. He wanted to talk to me.
“I was still in the dressing room; I took a shower and called him back in a quiet corner.
“My English wasn’t as good as it is today. He has a strong Scottish accent. I was so focused on understanding what he meant! Ferguson tried to be considerate; spoke slowly.
“I was 22 years old; it was a special moment.
“I spoke to [Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim] Watzke and [then head coach] 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.”