In Louis Van Gaal, Manchester United claimed that they had got their first choice manager to replace David Moyes at the club. Azzuri manager Antonio Conte, however, believes it wasna t Dutchman who the 20-time English champions wanted.

The former Juventus manager revealed that United actually came to him before they went to Van Gaal in the summer. Conte had guided the Old Lady to three back to back Serie A titles before deciding the call it a day.

The 45-year-old then chose to take over the reins from Cesare Prandelli by becoming the national teama s coach. Legendary former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also spotted with Conte prior to Van Gaala s appointment, but nothing appeared to materialise.

When talking about the episode, Conte was coy and a bit of a miser when it came to details.

“The English team that looked for me ended up signing the coach of a national team,” Conte told TV show Grand Hotel Chiambretti, with the coach in question being Van Gaal who was then managing the Netherlands.

“But my challenge with the national team is personal. Becoming a coach where usually the job is to select players, it is inspiring.”

During the summer, Patrice Evra moved from United to Juventus while star midfielder Arturo Vidal was at the centre of attention in Turin as United appeared to hold a strong interest in the Chilean.

Contea s statements come at a time when Van Gaal and United are struggling in the race for fourth place in the Premier League. The Dutchman has faced intense media criticism as his side have failed to produce top quality performances that were expected after spending more than A?150m in the summer transfer window.