Yuto Nagatomo to Manchester United: Inter Milan defender admits he turned down Red Devils in January

United have struggled with a succession of injuries in defensive areas this season

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The Independent Football

Manchester United failed with a bid to sign Inter Milan full-back Yuto Nagatomo in the January transfer window after the Japanese international elected to remain in Italy.

Louis van Gaal, the United manager, has struggled with a host of injuries in defensive areas this season as his side, six points adrift of the top four, look certain to miss out on Champions League qualification. 

The Dutchman launched a bid to take Nagatomo to Old Trafford but the 29-year-old, speaking to Inter’s in-house television channel, has revealed how he turned down the opportunity to play in England.

“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.

“I'm having a great time, though I had the most fun with Wesley Sneijder, Marco Materazzi, Javier Zanetti and Antonio Cassano.

“Marco taught me Italian, including a few swearwords! 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.”