Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo has claimed he turned down the chance to join Manchester United.

The 83-cap Japan international was linked with a move in January by the Italian press, and revealed on Thursday United manager Louis van Gaal made an approach to sign him.

But Nagatomo, who has made nine Serie A starts this season, insists he remains committed to Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini.

“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.”

Inter Milan have dropped to fourth in Serie A
Inter were flying high at the top of the table before Christmas, but a run of two wins from eight league matches has seen Mancini’s side drop to fourth.

Nagatomo, who joined Inter in 2011 after a loan spell at Cesena, has started three of their last four matches and the full-back believes he’s currently enjoying his best football at the San Siro.

“I love Italy. I’ve been here for five years now and I feel at home,” he added. “Hopefully, when I finish my career, I can stay in Italy.

“This season is my best spell at Inter. We have a great group here and I get on well with everyone.”