German Tkachenko, the agent of Russian striker Fedor Smolov, has spoken to Russian YouTube channel KraSawa and claimed Manchester United were showing an interest in his client last year.

Now playing for Lokomotiv Moscow, Smolov was strongly linked with a move to the Premier League when he was at Krasnodar, but a transfer to England never materialised.

Speaking about the failed move, as covered by Championat, Tkachenko said everything was nearly completed with a transfer to Old Trafford, but United went onto to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal instead: “When we were dealing with the transfer, Manchester United emerged as a surprise option and their interest was real.

“They were looking for a striker and they had two main targets in Paulo Dybala and Antoine Griezmann. They were seeing us as an alternative option.

“When it was clear both players wouldn’t be joining them, we brought him onto the scene. We discussed the wages, agency fees, advertising and other details. Everything was ready but United took Alexis and our move fell through.”

Tkachenko also added West Ham United and Borussia Dortmund were showing an interest to sign Smolov following his performances at last summer’s World Cup in Russia.

The attacker played his part in his country reaching the quarter finals of the tournament and this resulted in reported interested from Crystal Palace.

He’s contracted to Lokomotiv Moscow until June 2022.