Sir Alex Ferguson does not believe Wesley Sneijder would have been the perfect player to fill the void left by Paul Scholes' retirement.
The Dutchman was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United throughout the summer transfer window, with many experts suggesting that Ferguson needed to sign a creative midfielder after Scholes called time on his career.
However, a move never materialised and Ferguson has now revealed that he did not quite regard Sneijder as the type of player he was looking for.
While the United manager maintains that he has a great deal of admiration for Inter Milan's Sneijder, he believes that only Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta can perform a similar role to Scholes.
"Sneijder is not the ideal replacement for Scholes," said Ferguson.
"He's a fantastic player but he was not who we were looking for to replace Scholes. Only Xavi and Iniesta are comparable to Scholes."
Ferguson has never been afraid to put his faith in young players and the central midfield roles during the early part of the season have been filled by Anderson and Tom Cleverley.
The Scot admits that he enjoys building new teams, telling the Italian media at an awards ceremony at the University of Rome Tor Vergata: "It's very easy for me because I always look forward.
"There is no doubt about who is the manager of United. I am the coach: today, tomorrow and the day after.
"I can work in the short and long term. Of course, it becomes very difficult to separate from a player who has built a family relationship.
"But I have to focus on young players and try out other teams, to find someone equal or better than those who left."
Anderson remains only 23 but he has gained a lot of experience since joining United from Porto in 2007 and Ferguson has been delighted with his recent progress.
"He has been tremendous," Ferguson told Inside United.
"He's had a couple of long-term injuries which haven't helped him, but in the last year or so, he's steered clear of injury.
"That means he's training every day so his fitness levels are much better. He is maturing so you can see the consistency in his game."