Bayern Munich rejected a "mad" transfer bid from Manchester United last summer that would have been enough to break the world transfer record, according to club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
The Bundesliga champions have a number of players who would be worth the £86million that would be required to break the record set by Real Madrid when they signed Gareth Bale from Tottenham in 2013. Thomas Muller, who Louis van Gaal was evidently desperate to sign, is one of them.
Muller had been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford last summer due to his strong relationship with the Dutchman. Van Gaal was responsible for introducing the Germany international into the Bayern Munich senior squad for the first time and Muller rightly credits much of his success to him.
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Last year, there had been rumours of a massive bid from Manchester to Munich, but that was reported to have been around £60m. However, Rummenigge's latest comments suggest it was much, much bigger than that.
"We had a mad offer from Manchester United last year, which was not a topic for one second," Rummenigge told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "We could have secured a world-record transfer fee."
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For Manchester United executive Ed Woodward, it is yet another publically broadcasted failure in the transfer market. Since taking over from David Gill in 2013, Woodward has tried to secure a marquee name a number of times but has never come close to doing it.
Indeed, the Red Devils have the money available to break the world record but can't seem to find a player of that calibre ready to join them. After failing to sign Muller, Woodward attempted to bring Barcelona's Neymar to the club by meeting his €190million release but found him unwilling to take the step-down.
Eventually, he settled for the £58m investment in the unknown quantity of Anthony Martial. The Frenchman has been impressive since moving from Monaco but has a long way to go to match his immense price tag.
De Bruyne rejection
In a revealing interview, Rummenigge also admitted that Bayern Munich had been offered the chance to sign Belgian star Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg ahead of Manchester City.
The playmaker was wanted by the world's best clubs last summer but eventually joined the Citizens on a long-term contract for £55m, the second highest transfer fee in British history. For Rummenigge, the cost involved in the deal were simply too high.
"We had an offer to sign De Bruyne in 2015 for the following year," he said. "The fee plus salary amounted to over 100 million euros, so the risk was too high."
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