Former Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has said he turned down Manchester United in the early-2000s, adding that he regrets not joining the Premier League side.
Kahn played for Bayern from 1994 until 2008 after joining the Bavarian club from Karlsruhe.
A decade into his Bayern career, despite being close to his mid-30s, the ex-Germany international was the subject of an unsuccessful bid from then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“Alex Ferguson is still at odds with me,” Kahn told Sport Bild. “He was convinced I’d join Manchester United in 2003 or 2004, but building an era at Bayern was more important to me.
“Looking back, I believe that I should have done it back then. It would have been one last big challenge for me.”
Instead, Kahn remained at Bayern, where he retired from professional football shortly before his 39th birthday in 2008.
United signed Tim Howard from New Jersey MetroStars in 2003 as part of their continued search to find a long-term successor to Peter Schmeichel.
Kahn made a total of 557 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern and Karlsruhe, the most any goalkeeper has ever made in the German top flight, and is only topped by outfield players Manfred Kaltz and Karl-Heinz Korbel.
The goalkeeper won the Champions League with Bayern in 2001, but also played in the 1999 final, where United scored two injury-time goals to beat Bayern 2-1 and win the trophy.
“In my memory, I have stored that final against Manchester United as a win,” Kahn said. “I’ve erased the final two minutes.”