Galatasaray have revealed that they nearly signed Sofyan Amrabat from Fiorentina before Manchester United swooped late in the transfer window.
The 27-year-old has joined the Red Devils on a season-long loan with an option to buy for £21.4m. The north-west giants paid a loan fee of £8.5m and had to beat off a number of rivals for his signature. The Morocco international had impressed over 107 appearances with I Viola and attracted the attention of some top clubs.
Liverpool were known to be keen while Bayern Munich also threw their hat into the ring.
Fulham were a late entry to the party but were never really in the hunt with the other clubs vying for his signature.
United eventually triumphed on deadline day, as the Netherlands-born ace was keen to reunite with Erik ten Hag.
He had played under the Dutchman at Utrecht when breaking into the professional game.
However, it appears as though the former Feyenoord could have moved to Turkey as Galatasaray’s vice-president, Erden Timur, explained.
“We largely agreed with Sofyan Amrabat. With Fiorentina, we were at a level where we could reach a point,” he said, as reported by CNN Turk.
“Manchester United came on Wednesday evening and as the player has said before, his former manager was also there.
“He rejected the big teams and waited for us, but it didn’t happen.”
Ten Hag crucial to Amrabat capture
Manchester United enjoyed a revival under Ten Hag last season to finish third in the table.
They will play in this season’s Champions League and hope to close the sizeable gap to champions and rivals Manchester City.
However, they have made an indifferent start to their league campaign, with two wins and two defeats from four outings.
Sunday’s 3-1 loss away to Arsenal means they entered the international break 11th in the fledgling season.
All at Old Trafford will hope that Amrabat proves to be a game-changer and can inspire the side to glory.
The ex- Club Brugge player has made it clear that the chance to play under Ten Hag once again was key to his decision.
Eyebrows were raised as to the role that the defensive midfielder might play at Old Trafford with Casemiro also on board.
However, Ten Hag has made it clear that he feels the duo will be able to play together in the same side.
United will need strength in depth as they return to Europe’s elite club competition.
Amrabat will get the chance to face Galatasaray in the Champions League group stage.
The Red Devils are set to face to Turkish champions as well as Bayern Munich and FC Copenhagen.
His Premier League debut may well come at home to Brighton.
Ten Hag’s charges face the Seagulls at home on Saturday September 16 when domestic action resumes.