LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Former footballer Michael Owen participates in an Aspetar sponsored panel discussion concerning 'The Complexity of the Hamstring Injury' on day one of the Leaders Sport Performance Summit at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal on November 8, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Claire Greenway/Getty Images)

The English forward would have never joined the Red Devils if their top priority striker Karim Benzema arrived at Old Trafford.

Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen has revealed that he was Ferguson’s back-up plane in case the initial target of the Red Devils, Benzema, did not agree to join the club from Manchester.

Owen, however, ended up signing for United on a free transfer from Newcastle back in 2009, which caused a lot of frustration in Liverpool’s fans who questioned the striker’s loyalty to the club from Anfield.

Owen admitted he was really fortunate to have played under Ferguson and also ‘thanked’ Benzema for choosing Real Madrid over the Red Devils.

“I’ve got a lot to thank him [Benzema] for.” the Englishman told Canal+

“He might not know but I wouldn’t have gone to Manchester United if it wasn’t for Benzema because I think Manchester United wanted to buy Benzema, and he chose Real Madrid.

 “I was told by Sir Alex Ferguson that ‘we want Benzema, but if Benzema doesn’t come then you’re coming’.

“So I was pleading with Benzema to go to Real Madrid – so thank you to him.”

While Owen spent three seasons with United and scored 17 goals in 52 apperances, Benzema went on to score 182 times in 377 games for Real Madrid.