Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has revealed he came close to leaving the Bavarian outfit for Real Madrid in 2009.
The 31-year-old, who has played a key role in Bayern’s success in recent years, told German sports paper Bild that he was unhappy under boss Louis van Gaal and was looking for a way out.
And he revealed that despite interest from a host of clubs in Europe, he and his wife had agreed a move to Madrid would be the best option and were in advanced talks with the Santiago Bernabeu club.
“I went through a difficult period in 2009 when [Louis] van Gaal arrived at the club,” said Ribery, who has a contract at the Allianz Arena until 2017.
He continued: “Not just because I didn’t get along very well with Van Gaal, but also because a lot of clubs wanted me: Juventus, Inter, Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“My agent and Real Madrid’s representatives had already held a number of talks. My wife told me that she was happy to move to Madrid if that was what I wanted to. Everything was ready to go.
“The situation is different now. She would ask me whether I’m crazy if I proposed a move.