Ferguson admits Rooney insisted on signing Ozil before Real Madrid
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Mesut Ozil wasn’t “on Manchester United’s radar” during the summer of 2010, although Wayne Rooney insisted on signing the Real Madrid star.
Ozil has been in phenomenal form since he left Real Madrid for Premier League giants Arsenal this summer. The Germany international has starred in majority of Arsenal victories since his arrival, proving he could have been asset for Manchester United.
Rooney alerted Manchester United of the potential he saw in Ozil after Germany picked up a 4-1 victory over England in the second round of the World Cup in 2010. However, the English club never grabbed interest from the Premier League champions and instead was signed up by Real Madrid.
Ferguson’s confessions arrive in his latest book “My Autobiography” after Manchester United manager David Moyes announced he turned down the opportunity to sign in Ozil.
“I said that to Wayne at the time. We signed Chicharito [Javier Hernandez] that summer,” Ferguson said. “My thoughts at the time were a Rooney and Chicharito partnership. That was a fair prospect for us to look at. When Ozil was at Werder [Bremen] he played wide right initially, then towards the second part of that season they played him off the front.
“He was part of the great Germany under-21 team that went to South Africa. That type of player was not necessarily on our radar at No. 10. I told Wayne: ‘Leave the signing of players to me.’ We’ve got lots of them right.”
Ferguson claims Rooney acted in a way to create an opportunity for a move away from Manchester United or acquire a better contract from the club. The 27-year-old England international eventually did receive a better contract in October 2010.
“I felt he'd been programmed in what he was trying to say.” Ferguson wrote. “The basis of his complaint was that we were not sufficiently ambitious. My response was to ask Wayne: 'When have we not challenged for the League in the last 20 years? How many European finals have we been to in the last three or four years?' I told him that to say we weren't ambitious was nonsense.
“Wayne said that we should have pursued Mesut Ozil, who had joined Real Madrid from Werder Bremen. My reply was that it was none of his business who we should have gone for. I told him it was his job to play and perform. My job was to pick the correct teams. And so far I had been getting it right.”