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Sir Alex Ferguson turned down the chance to sign this player in 2008 because he didn’t consider him world class

French superstar was tipped to sign on at Old Trafford but a scouting trip to Marseille put paid to that

FRANCK RIBERY did not not join Manchester United in 2006 because Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t consider the France international top drawer.

Ribery, then playing for Marseille, was fully expected to sign on at Old Trafford.

Franck Ribery was not good enough for Sir Alex Ferguson

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Franck Ribery was not good enough for Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex went to watch the Frenchman when was playing for Marseille

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Sir Alex went to watch the Frenchman when he was playing for Marseille

But, in the latest batch of diaries published by Tony Blair’s former communications chief Alastair Campbell, a different story has emerged.

Spin doctor Campbell knew Ferguson well, the Manchester United manager having come out as a strong supporter of Tony Blair’s administration.


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The Sunday Times reports that in February 2006, Campbell and Ferguson went to watch Bolton Wanderers play Marseille.

Ribery was 22 at the time and was about to be named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year.

Writes Campbell: “Alex was watching Franck Ribery, the Marseilles winger, but decided by half-time that he was not good enough for United.”

Ribery left Marseilles the following summer to join Bayern Munich, with whom he would win the Champions League in 2013.

He was heavily linked with Arsenal, but chose the German giants instead.

Since then Ribery has scored 88 goals in 277 outings for Bayern – not bad for a flank player.

Ferguson went to the match with Labour spin doctor Alastair Ca

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Ferguson went to the match with Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell

Ribery went on to win the Bundesliga seven times with Bayern Munich

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Ribery went on to win the Bundesliga seven times with Bayern Munich

He has won seven Bundesliga titles with Bayern and remains one of the world’s most respected players.

But Ribery wasn’t up to scratch as far as Fergie was concerned.