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Kahn: I turned down Man Utd move in 2003/4

by Richard Laverty

Former Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn has revealed he turned down a move to Manchester United in the 2003/4 season.

Despite being in his mid-thirties at the time, Kahn was still no.1 for club and country and had played in the World Cup final just two years previous for Germany in South Korea.

United had just signed Tim Howard from America but Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly looking for some experience after Fabien Barthez had left the club in April 2004 and it appears Kahn was identified as United’s new no. 1.

Whether the biggest club in Germany would have allowed one of their key men to leave for Old Trafford will never be revealed but Kahn says Ferguson never forgave him for turning down the move.

Speaking to football social networking website Fanbooks, Kahn said: “Alex Ferguson has never forgotten that.

“He still holds that against me to this day.”

Ferguson had struggled to replace Peter Schmeichel after the Dane departed the club in 1999. The likes of Mark Bosnich and Massimo Taibi came and went whilst Barthez was far too hit and miss.

Howard had an impressive debut season at Old Trafford but Schmeichel believes Kahn made a mistake rejecting the move.

“You never say no to Sir Alex,” he said.

“It would have been a good experience for Kahn (at United).”

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