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AUXERRE defender Phillipe Mexes has revealed that he has had serious talks with Manchester United for some years now, but has said that he will be staying at Abbe-Deschamps for another season.

The 19-year-old has had a whole host of top European clubs chasing him for some years, and has been to Manchester to look around at Old Trafford.

"During my Easter holidays in 1998 Alex Ferguson invited me to visit Manchester United with my parents and my sister," said Mexes.

"They were one of the first clubs to contact me and ever since, I have had regular contact with Alex Ferguson, he always sends his best wishes for the New Year."

Premier League rivals Arsenal have also been monitoring Mexes, as have Real Madrid, Barcelona, Celta Vigo, Roma, Milan, Inter, Juventus, Fiorentina and Parma, with a fee of around £10 million being quoted as a possible price for the talented youngster.

Mexes has confirmed that he will stay with Guy Roux's side for a further year after taking the advice of one of the club's older players, Alain Roche.

"Roche encouraged me to stay at least one more year in Auxerre for my improvement," Mexes revealed. "He knows what he is talking about as he started at the same age as me."