Fellaini escaped squad cull at Old Trafford. Getty

Marouane Fellaini was never in concrete talks to leave Manchester United for Napoli, according to Fifa agent Fabrizio Ferrari.

Fellaini endured a disastrous first campaign at Old Trafford following his £27m move from Everton and was expected to leave the club as part of Louis van Gaal's overhaul of the squad that finished in a dismal seventh place last season.

Napoli appeared prepared to offer the Belgian international a reprieve and manager Rafa Benitez indicated the club would be interested in a move if the player was made available.

While Napoli may have monitored Fellaini's situation in Manchester, Ferrari claims negotiations never reached a formal stage, citing the midfielder's ankle injury ahead of the new season as a key factor behind the breakdown in talks.

"Was Fellaini close to the Azzurri? There was only a friendly phone call, in which he told me how beautiful Napoli is," Ferrari said in an interview with Italian radio station Kiss Kiss.

"Then there was the player's injury and Napoli's Champions League exit, which meant negotiations never really even got started."

After Napoli dropped their interest in Fellaini and former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro, the club turned to former Swansea City loanee Jonathan de Guzman to strenghen their midfield.

Fellaini hasn't featured for United since an appearance off the bench on the first day of the season against Swansea City. The former Everton midfielder was expected to be a part of a clear-out that has already seen Van Gaal do away with a number of United's underperforming stars.

Nani returned to Sporting Lisbon on a loan deal as part of the deal that saw Marcos Rojo join the club. Wilfried Zaha meanwhile was another to return to his former employers, joining Crystal Palace until the end of the season while Shinji Kagawa has re-signed for Borussia Dortmund two years on from leaving the Bundesliga side.

Alexander Buttner and Bebe have joined Dinamo Moscow and Benfica respectively while Tom Cleverley, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck were among the players to leave Old Trafford on a frantic deadline day.