AC Milan forward Jeremy Menez insists he stands by his decision to say no to Sir Alex Ferguson when Manchester United tried to sign him four years ago.
Menez, 27, is enjoying a career revival at Milan this term after two seasons on the periphery of the first-team squad at Paris Saint Germain amid his own struggles for fitness.
Although the Frenchman's career would suffer severe setbacks at the French champions and previous club AS Roma, his blossoming reputation as one of Europe's brightest young talents six years ago saw him linked with a number of clubs across the continent.
It was Roma who won his signature in 2008, signing him from Monaco for a fee of €10.5m, but that did not stop former United boss Ferguson making an approach two years later.
However, Menez resisted the urge to leave the Stadio Olimpico, believing at the time the decision was in the best interests of his career.
"Saying no to Ferguson wasn't easy," Menez explained to ESPN report. "But I was still young and I had to follow my own path. Then when [Vincenzo] Montella came to Roma, it became difficult for everybody.
"Before he came, I was playing all the time, but he had different ideas."
"I was then a regular in the first team in Paris under Carlo Ancelotti but [Laurent] Blanc came along and he dropped me. After an operation, I came back and scored, but nothing changed. I accepted his decision, even if it was hard. It was a difficult year, but it helped me grow."
After over a year in the wilderness Menez has returned to prominence in Serie A where he is helping spearhead Milan's return to the summit of the league following a dismal eighth-placed finish last term.
An impressive return of three goals in his first two appearances for the club was marked by a sublime last-minute winner to help his side seal a thrilling 5-4 win over Parma last Saturday, after rounding the goalkeeper and backheeling into the back of the net.
"It was purely instinctive, that is my kind of football," he said of his strike. "I like to enjoy myself. I don't know how to defend, I can only create chances or dribble past opponents."