Manchester United were close to signing Thomas Muller before Bayern Munich rejected the Red Devils’ approach for the German attacker, who has scored over 200 goals in his career
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The 32-year-old recently signed a new deal at Bayern to keep him at the club until the summer of 2024. He came through Der FCB’s academy, before making his first-team debut in 2008.
Muller has since gone on to become one of the club’s greatest ever players, lifting 27 major trophies in the meantime for club and country – the most of any German international after surpassing Bastian Schweinsteiger’s previous record.
It could have all been different if Muller and Bayern had accepted an offer from United and Louis Van Gaal. The Red Devils came calling when the Dutchman wanted to strengthen his squad and he was keen to bring in Muller, who had just won the World Cup with Germany.
However, Bayern rejected the offer and Muller ended up stopping in the Bundesliga. “Bayern clearly rejected the whole thing – despite this insane offer from United.’ Muller told Merkur. [But it was a] huge vote of confidence from Bayern.”
Van Gaal worked with Muller during his time at Bayern between 2009 and 2011 and he wanted to reunite with the midfielder during his time at the Red Devils. But the Dutch coach lasted just two seasons at United, before being replaced by now-Roma manager Jose Mourinho.
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Muller also almost joined Hoffenheim towards the start of his professional career when trying to break into the Bayern side. He added: “It was relatively close at the time. Luckily, looking back, [Bayern Munich II boss] Hermann Gerland fought back with all his might and prevented the transfer.”
The attacker has re-found his form in recent seasons after going through a difficult patch where he supposedly fell out of favour with Niko Kovac. He subsequently didn’t feature as much and was often left out of the side.
“Since I didn’t get the playing time that I would have liked to have in this phase, I sought a conversation with the club about all the possibilities,” Muller revealed.