The Sun says a mere four years ago he seemed destined for the scrapheap.
A journeyman in his early career, Ribery had four clubs in as many seasons in France.
He made his name at lowly Metz and then opted for an ill-advised move to join Galatasaray in January 2005. Aged just 21, it seemed a huge talent would be lost to the Turkish League. Yet later that summer, Ribery broke his contract after going unpaid for four months.
It was then that both Sir Alex and Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger, another great admirer, missed their chance to snap him up for nothing. Ribery ended up at Marseille, from where he joined Bayern for a club record £18m a couple of years ago.