Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo has claimed he turned down a move to Manchester United in January.
The Japan international was heavily linked with Louis van Gaal’s men in the winter transfer window with the Red Devils looking to bolster their defensive ranks.
It was reported that a private jet from Milan arrived at Manchester Airport on deadline day with many United fans hoping it was Nagatomo arriving.
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And the 29-year-old revealed that he turned down a chance to join Old Trafford and insists he his happy at the San Siro.
"I like everything about Inter, I want to stay here and renew my contract," Nagatomo told Inter's TV channel.
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"I turned down an offer from Manchester United, as my desire is to stay here. I have an excellent rapport with Roberto Mancini."
Inter were top of Serie A before the New Year but have since slipped down to fourth, after just one win in their previous six league matches.
Career to date
Nagatomo started his career with FC Tokyo in his native Japan, making 84 appearance in his four years in the J League.
He was then signed on loan by newly promoted Cesena and played the first half of the season at the club before attracting the interest of Inter.
Inter made Nagatomo their first ever signing from East Asia but loaned him straight back to Cesena in a loan exchange for Davide Santon.
But Nagatomo soon made his debut for Inter in February 2011 and has gone on to make 165 appearances in the six seasons he’s played for the Italian side.
The Japanese defender can play as both a right-back and left-back and would have been ideal for United with their limited full-back options.
Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo have been injured for the majority of the season with 19-year-old Cameron Borthwick-Jackson currently a first-team regular in the left-back position.
Italy is home
But Nagatomo seemed to rule out any possible move to United in the future, insisting that he wants to remain in Italy for the remainder of his career.
"I love Italy. I've been here for five years now and I feel at home," he added. "Hopefully, when I finish my career, I can stay in Italy.
"This season is my best spell at Inter. We have a great group here and I get on well with everyone."
While Nagatomo may have become Inter’s first player from East Asia, that wouldn’t have been the case at Old Trafford.
Fellow Japanese international Shinji Kagawa lasted a little over two years at the club before re-joining Borussia Dortmund in 2014.
Would Yuto Nagatomo be a good singing for Manchester United?
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