Manchester United defender Alexander Buttner was close to agreeing a move to Ajax in the summer transfer window, before opting for a switch to Old Trafford following a late intervention from the Premier League leaders.

Buttner had initially appeared set to sign for Southampton last July after a fee was agreed between the newly promoted side and Vitesse, but the collapse of the transfer led to interest from Ajax and Manchester United.

With Vitesse then entering into negotiations with Ajax for the 24-year-old Dutchman, a move to the Amsterdam Arena seemed a formality before Sir Alex Ferguson made a late attempt to bring Buttner to Old Trafford.

Presented with the opportunity of signing for Ajax or Manchester United, Buttner selected to move away from his native Netherlands and to pastures new in the Premier League.

"Ajax approached last summer to talk about a transfer with us," his agent Aleksander Bursac told Ajax Showtime.

"That transfer was really close, the clubs were already talking. Then came Manchester United and that was the club he preferred."

Buttner's transfer to Old Trafford, however, has not gone entirely according to plan, with the left-back afforded just one league appearance for Manchester United this season.

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