Manchester United had previously considered a move for Ricky van Wolfswinkel prior to the Dutch striker joining Norwich City, according to Sir Alex Ferguson's former coach Rene Meulensteen.

Van Wolfswinkel was a club record acquisition when he moved to Carrow Road in the summer transfer window of this year for a fee in the region of £8.5 million, having spent two years in Portugal with Sporting.

The signing of the 24-year-old was seen as something of a transfer coup by manager Chris Hughton after Van Wolfswinkel had scored 45 goals during his two seasons in Lisbon, and this is a view reinforced by the apparent interest of Manchester United.

Meulensteen claims Manchester United had 'discussed' a potential move for the Netherlands international but opted against formalising their interest given that they could already boast the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck among their number.

"We had definitely discussed him," he told reporters.

"I don't think it was ever to the stage that we needed to do something as we obviously had fantastic strikers at the club and, at a club like Manchester United where you have got top, top strikers, when you bring someone in he needs to be better than you have already got."

Meulensteen will encounter Van Wolfswinkel when his Fulham team face Norwich on Boxing Day.

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