Jose Mourinho has revealed that when he was Real Madrid manager he tried to bring Shinji Kagawa to the Santiago Bernabeu but the deal fell through because he could not guarantee him first team football.
Mourinho admitted he was a fan of the 24-year-old's playing style but it was a simple case of not being able to give him the reassurances about opportunities with the first team that scuppered his move to Spain.
In an interview with a Japanese publishing company, Mourinho explained why the deal with Kagawa fell through.
"It was not being able to always play at Real Madrid," he said.
"My first choice at the time was Mesut Ozil. I told him honestly without hiding it."
Kagawa instead chose to move to Manchester United and has unfortunately found himself in the same situation in England that he tried to avoid by turning down a move to Spain.
With Wayne Rooney the first choice for the No. 10 role at United, Kagawa has had to accept a peripheral role in his favoured position or a less comfortable role out on United's wing in order to get game time.
While he isn't as comfortable there, his performances have begun to improve none more so than against Arsenal last weekend where he put in a very good all-round show.
Kagawa has reiterated on more than one occasion that his preference is to play in the middle and over time that may happen but as of right now, he will have to settle for getting game time wherever David Moyes chooses to use him.
Credit to @LaurieHannah for spotting the story.