Alex Ferguson has said that Mesut Ozil was 'not on Manchester United's radar' in the summer of 2010, despite Wayne Rooney urging the club to sign the Germany international.
Ozil played a starring role as Germany beat England 4-1 in the second round of the 2010 World Cup, alerting Rooney to the potential of the Werder Bremen player. However, Real Madrid would go on to sign the playmaker along with his international teammate Sami Khedira.
The revelation also follows news that David Moyes turned down the chance to sign Ozil this summer.
"The thing was Ozil was not on our radar," Ferguson said at the news conference to launch his book 'Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography'.
"I said that to Wayne at the time. We signed Chicharito [Javier Hernandez] that summer. My thoughts at the time were a Rooney and Chicharito partnership. That was a fair prospect for us to look at. When Ozil was at Werder [Bremen] he played wide right initially, then towards the second part of that season they played him off the front.
"He was part of the great Germany under-21 team that went to South Africa. That type of player was not necessarily on our radar at No. 10. I told Wayne: ‘Leave the signing of players to me.’ We’ve got lots of them right."
In the book Ferguson remembers thinking that Rooney’s comments were designed to engineer a move away from United or an improved contract, something he eventually did in Oct. 2010.
"I felt he'd been programmed in what he was trying to say.” Ferguson wrote in his book. “The basis of his complaint was that we were not sufficiently ambitious. My response was to ask Wayne: 'When have we not challenged for the League in the last 20 years? How many European finals have we been to in the last three or four years?' I told him that to say we weren't ambitious was nonsense.
"Wayne said that we should have pursued Mesut Ozil, who had joined Real Madrid from Werder Bremen. My reply was that it was none of his business who we should have gone for. I told him it was his job to play and perform. My job was to pick the correct teams. And so far I had been getting it right."