Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward has confirmed that the club tabled a bid to sign French international striker Karim Benzema three years ago.

The 27-year-old had become one of Europe’s hottest-properties back in 2009, coming to the fore with Lyon in Ligue 1 after making his debut at the club five years before.

Benzema had also been capped a number of times at international level, making his debut in 2007 and representing Les Bleus in their failed Euro 2008 campaign.

It was the player’s form domestically which had alerted the continent’s top clubs however, and Sir Alex Ferguson was amongst a number of managers keen on the player. However, the Red Devils fell short in their pursuit, with Real Madrid spending big to secure the signature.

“There was no secret about bidding for Lucas and three years ago trying to buy [Karim] Benzema. The money has always been made available to him,” Woodward told The Independent, according to

The comments from Woodward concur with Benzema, who earlier in the summer admitted that the Manchester United manager had tried to sign him for the last ‘three or four years’.

“The rumours about my future are common, every summer it’s the same that I will be going to this club and that club,” he was quoted as saying in The Sun in June.

“But I am very happy at Real Madrid and the thought about leaving has never crossed my mind. I know Manchester United have tried to sign me for the past three or four seasons. When I was at Lyon they and a number of other English clubs wanted me but could not agree terms.”

Los Blancos have unsurprisingly been unwilling to let the player leave for Old Trafford, having initially spent €35 million to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu.

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