Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini never really came close to joining Napoli this summer, that's according to FIFA agent Fabrizio Ferrari.
The Belgium international was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford during the transfer window, and the Serie 'A' giants appeared to be the £27.5 million man's most prominent admirers.
However, Rafael Benitez's alleged interest in taking Fellaini to Stadio San Paolo failed to come to fruition, leaving the former Everton man to stay and fight for his place with the Red Devils.
Louis van Gaal has wasted little time in overhauling his squad at Manchester United, bringing in six new signings over the summer, whilst also shipping out a host of under-performing players including Nani, Javier Hernandez, Shinji Kagawa, Wilfried Zaha and Tom Cleverley.
Many expected that Fellaini would follow, but a transfer didn't transpire, and Ferrari has revealed in an interview with Italian radio station Kiss Kiss there were two particular reasons behind the breakdown in negotiations with Napoli.
Fabrizio Ferrari quotes:
"Was Fellaini close to the Azzurri? There was only a friendly phone call, in which he told me how beautiful Napoli is," he explained.
"Then there was the player’s injury and Napoli’s Champions League exit, which meant negotiations never really even got started."
Benitez's side crashed out of Europe's elite club competition at the qualifying stage, meaning a reduced amount of income coming Napoli's way in 2014/15. It meant that the club were forced to change their transfer market tactics, opting instead to sign Dutch midfielder Jonathan de Guzman, who cost a fraction of the price.
Fellaini's ankle injury picked up in training also left him unable to pass a medical, and the 26-year-old is expected to be sidelined for another three weeks at least before making a return to action.
Once fit, the midfielder will attempt to regain his place in the Manchester United team, but with a significant increase in competition for places following the deadline day arrival of Daley Blind amongst others, Fellaini faces a difficult task to get back in Van Gaal's plans.
It remains to be seen how much action he'll get over the coming months at Old Trafford, but failure to force his way into the first-team could prompt a move away when the transfer window reopens again in January.