Ferdinand reveals not landing Madrid star is huge ‘regret’ for Sir Alex


Rio Ferdinand believes Sir Alex Ferguson’s failure to bring Karim Benzema to Manchester United is one of his “biggest regrets”.

The Real Madrid striker is enjoying his best goalscoring season having found the back of the net 38 times in as many appearances

His side advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League after overcoming the holders of the competition, Chelsea.

Benzema scored a wonderful hat-trick in the first leg at Stamford Bridge before heading in the decisive goal in extra time during the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

He has now scored 317 goals and provided 157 assists in 597 games for Real Madrid as he seeks his fifth Champions League triumph.

And Manchester United legend Ferdinand has revealed that his former manager Ferguson tried to sign the Frenchman before he joined Los Blancos from Lyon in 2009.

Ferdinand told BT Sport (via Manchester Evening News): “The first time I played against him was 2008, and that was the first time I had seen him up close and personal. If you see the goal he scored against us, look how many players are around him, but all he needed was one touch, it was all one motion.

“I remember coming off the pitch and Sir Alex Ferguson said, ‘don’t worry, I’m trying to get him’. But with his African connections, and how influential Real Madrid were, he chose them.

“I think, looking back, Sir Alex will believe that is one of his biggest regrets not getting him to sign for the club.”

Meanwhile, United have reached an agreement with Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag over the club’s managerial position, according to The Athletic.

The Dutchman has been the favourite for the role for a number of weeks after undertaking an interview with the United hierarchy.

The report claims that a ‘verbal agreement’ is in place between Ten Hag and the club. The agreement consists of a contract that will run for up to four years.

Ajax are reportedly aware of the agreement.

However, any official announcement or written contract will have to wait until after the Dutch Cup final.