Inter's Wesley Sneijder admits that a move to Manchester United was a possibility. "They had to sell Samuel Eto'o or me."
The Dutchman was strongly associated with the Premiership outfit, but he eventually remained at San Siro.
Eto'o, meanwhile, left the club for Anzhi after the Russian outfit handed over a transfer fee of €27m.
"We had several talks, the situation was such that Inter had to sell a player, Eto'o or me, and indeed there was interest," the midfielder said to AD.
"I felt that a move to United was close. Yes, I thought I was going."
While Sneijder admits that United have a certain attraction, he has made it clear that he wanted to remain in Nerazzurro.
"Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world, so it did not seem a bad thing," he added. "However, at the same time, I do not want to leave Inter.
"Italy is great for me and I cannot exclude that United got that feeling.
"For me a move was not an absolute must and there were a few things which meant it did not happen."
Reports in England suggested that United pulled out of a move for the former Real Madrid man due to the potential costs involved.
"For me it was not so much a financial issue," Sneijder added. "My feeling was that I was simply feeling very good at Inter.
"I love the club, but also the Italian culture and the people. It fits me."
Sneijder's love of the country was confirmed yesterday when it was revealed that he advised international teammate Eljero Elia to join Juventus.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!