Alain Traore has revealed that he came close to joining Manchester United before linking up with Auxerre.
The midfielder first caught the eye while turning out for Burkina Faso at the U17 World Cup.
United were just one of a number of clubs to have been impressed by the youngster, and subsequently offered him a trial.
A switch to England failed to materialise, despite the Red Devils' best efforts, and Traore eventually moved to France.
Now 22, the African ace believes he made the right decision in spurning Sir Alex Ferguson in favour of regular football in Ligue 1.
"The agent who worked for Manchester United in Africa invited me for a trial in England," Traore told France Football.
"I should have been there a week, but I ended up staying for a month.
"Alex Ferguson wanted me to stay longer but he had difficulties getting paperwork in place. He wanted to sign me and loan me to Belgium.
"Finally, my mother made the decision to join Auxerre. The officials here gave her some guarantees about my education. That made the difference.
"Now Auxerre have helped me and I want to grow with the club. I don't want to cut corners.
"If I can make a name for myself in Ligue 1, then I would like to join a big European club in the future."