Inter Milan full-back Yuto Nagatomo has claimed he turned down a move to Manchester United this season.
The Japan defender capped 83 times claims he turned down a move to the Premier League because of the relationship he enjoys with Inter boss Roberto Mancini.
Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw, Marco Rojo and Antonio Valencia have all suffered injuries this season, while Van Gaal has continually used Daley Bling at centre-back.
And the 29-year-old was offered the chance to move to Old Trafford to ease Louis van Gaal’s defensive problems, but opted to stay in Serie A.
“I like everything about Inter, I want to stay here and renew my contract,” Nagatomo told Inter’s TV channel.
“I turned down an offer from Manchester United, as my desire is to stay here. I have an excellent rapport with Roberto Mancini.
Nagatomo, who has been at the club since 2011, wants to renew his contract with the Serie A side.
“I’m having a great time, though I had the most fun with Wesley Sneijder, Marco Materazzi, Javier Zanetti and Antonio Cassano,” he added.
“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.”