Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has revealed that he gave serious consideration to an approach from Manchester United back in 2009, but eventually turned down both the Red Devils and Barcelona to stay with the Bundesliga giants.
Lahm has collected every major trophy possible over the last two years, lifting the Champions League and World Cup as skipper of club and country to book-end an incredible 12 months performing consistently at the highest level.
Ferguson wanted Lahm four years ago
It's not always been plain sailing for the 30-year-old though, who admitted to the Daily Mail that in 2009 he'd become frustrated with a lack of direction at the club and pondered approaches from both United and Barca.
He said: ‘I did think about England before that and there were some interesting possibilities.
"Bayern is my home-town club and I was convinced we were on to a good thing again. I felt we had the chance to win the Champions League.
"I’d rather win it with my club than any other. Thankfully my decision turned out to be the right one."
Van Gaal helped change his mind
Bayern's fortunes on the field have transformed since that spell of uncertainty and part of the reason for that shift is current United boss Louis van Gaal.
The Dutch tactician took over at Bayern and made Lahm vice-captain, making changes that pushed the Bundesliga's most successful club by some distance back towards being genuine Champions League contenders.
Lahm still holds Van Gaal in high regard too, sharing his thoughts on the Red Devils supremo.
'He did a lot of good things here, the world's best right-back revealed. "He brought a more tactical approach. That’s stuck with the team.
"The tactics he introduced were very positive. We had problems with the number of goals we conceded, but we were successful."
Pep's central star will surely now stay put
United rarely missed out on top transfer targets during Sir Alex Ferguson's incredible tenure, but unfortunately Lahm just couldn't be tempted away from Munich at any price.
With Pep Guardiola moving the brilliant full-back into central midfield over the last year it looks unlikely that Lahm will finish his career anywhere but the Allianz Arena, but he didn't dismiss the idea of moving on when his current deal finally expires in 2018.
He teased: "Four years is such a long time in football. I’ll be 34 so we’ll have to wait and see. I want to stay inthis sport because I love the game and football is such great fun. I definitely want to stay in football but we’ll have to see in what capacity."
There's no question that United would still love to sign Lahm right now if he became available, but despite Van Gaal's strong working relationship with the defender it would take something drastic to see a living Bayern legend play in the Premier League before his glorious career comes to a close.