The Frenchman has revealed that a number of clubs were after him and he was actually on the verge of signing with the Santiago Bernabeu side at one point

Franck Ribery has revealed that he was close to leaving Bayern Munich for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.

It’s no secret that the Blancos attempted to sign the ex-France international a number of years ago, but Ribery has now made it clear that a transfer was closer than any one might have expected.

“I went through a difficult period in 2009 when [Louis] van Gaal arrived at the club,” Ribery, who has a contract at the Allianz Arena until June 2017, told Sport Bild.

“Not just because I didn’t get along very well with Van Gaal, but also because a lot of clubs wanted me: Juventus, Inter, Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“My agent and Real Madrid’s representatives had already held a number of talks. My wife told me that she was happy to move to Madrid if that was what I wanted to. Everything was ready to go.

“The situation is different now. She would ask me whether I’m crazy if I proposed a move.

“I was still a bit younger then and was shocked about all the interest. I didn’t know what to do and was on the verge of a transfer. I then had two or three meetings with Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and these were great. I will never forget those.”

Ribery, now 31, eventually stayed at Bayern where he has since won three Bundesliga titles, as many DFB Pokals, the Champions League and a Fifa Club World Cup trophy.