Inter Milan full-back Yuto Nagatomo has revealed he turned down Manchester United in January – because he likes Roberto Mancini and Wesley Sneijder too much.
The Japanese international was linked with a move to Old Trafford during the winter transfer window, with United struggling for players in his position following injuries to Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo.
And he has indeed revealed that he was approached by Louis van Gaal’s side, but just couldn’t bare to leave the San Siro, citing his relationship with former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and former United target Sneijder.
He told Inter’s in-house TV channel, via The Mirror: “I like everything about Inter, I want to stay here and renew my contract.
“I turned down an offer from Manchester United as my desire is to stay here. I have an excellent rapport with Roberto Mancini.
“I’m having a great time, though I had the most fun with Wesley Sneijder, Marco Materazzi, Javier Zanetti and Antonio Cassano,’ he said.
“Marco taught me Italian, including a few swear words! Now I do some yoga exercises with Samir Handanovic before a game.
“It was very difficult when I first arrived at Cesena, because I didn’t understand any Italian at all. I didn’t have an interpreter either. Then I went to Italian school and everything got better.”
Nagatomo – capped 83 times by his country – will be in action for Inter as they take on Fiorentina on Sunday evening, looking to halt a poor run of form.
Manchester United, meanwhile, take on Sunderland on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League’s early kick-off.
We have to admit, our Italian football isn’t quite up to scratch – would he have been a good signing for van Gaal and co?