AC Milan general manager Ariedo Braida claims Manchester United tried to sign midfielder Johann Vogel.
A series of injuries has left United manager Sir Alex Ferguson short of options in midfield.
With Paul Scholes out for the season with eye trouble, John O'Shea missing for six weeks with fractured ribs and Ryan Giggs facing 10 days on the sidelines after picking up a slight hamstring strain in Wednesday's win over Blackburn, Ferguson launched a Europe-wide hunt for reinforcements.
Milan claim Swiss 28-year-old Vogel, who has 78 caps, was a target but the Italian giants do not want to sell.
'It is true United want to take him in the winter transfer window but we are not planning to sell at this time,' Braida told the News of the World.
'We have an excellent relationship with Sir Alex and the United board but we told them we want to keep Vogel for now.
'I don't know what might happen in the summer.'