Fabio Coentrao has suggested that he would have been taking a step down if he had signed for Manchester United on deadline day -- because he already plays for the world's best club.
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David Moyes tried to bring in the Portugal left-back from Real Madrid on a season-long loan only for the move to collapse at the end of the transfer window.
And Coentrao, a €30 million signing from Benfica two years ago, has insisted he is pleased to remain at the Bernabeu.
"There was the possibility of joining Manchester United, but I stayed at Real Madrid, and that's what matters," Coentrao told Portuguese paper O Jogo. "It would have been bad if I had to stay despite having the chance to move to a better club, but that didn't happen as I already am at the best club in the world.
"I want to do better than I did last season, although I was at a very high level already. I want to show everyone that I deserve to be at Real Madrid."
However, a report in another Portuguese paper, Record, earlier this week claimed Coentrao cried on the shoulders of his international team-mates Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani after the move to United broke down.
Moyes turned his attentions to Coentrao after failing in his attempts to sign Leighton Baines from Everton.