Japan international Shinji Kagawa revealed Wednesday that he had met Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, as rumours swirl that the Borussia Dortmund star is eyeing a move to the Premier League.
The midfielder said the Scot, one of football's most successful managers, had "good words" to say about him during two hours of talks in Manchester this week.
Kagawa, who still has a year to run on his contract with the German champions and has stalled over signing an extension with the club, said he wanted to "think hard" before deciding where his future lay.
"It was good that I was able to meet him in person and talk," Kagawa told reporters on his return ahead of Japan's friendly against Azerbaijan.
Ferguson "had some good words," the player added when asked by journalists at Tokyo's Haneda Airport about the meeting, without disclosing what they discussed.
The 23-year-old scored 17 goals this season in all competitions to help Dortmund secure a second consecutive Bundesliga title and win the domestic double for the first time in their 103-year history.
He has made no secret of his desire to move to England with United tipped as front-runners to sign him.
Ferguson watched Kagawa score in Dortmund's 5-2 German Cup final win over Bayern Munich at Berlin's Olympic Stadium Saturday.
"I want to think hard before making my decision," Kagawa said, adding that several other Premier League clubs have also expressed interest in him.
"I want to choose a team where I can take on challenges," he added.
Dortmund are in a position to make a handsome profit by selling Kagawa, who cost the German club just 350,000 euros ($450,000) from Cerezo Osaka in 2010 but is now worth around 13 million euros.
Kagawa thanked Dortmund for allowing him to grow as a player, and said he will miss the thunderous roar of home fans and said coach Jurgen Klopp has told him he will always be welcome at the club.
Other big name clubs, including Chelsea, AC Milan and Arsenal have also been linked to Kagawa, media reports have said.
Man Utd shocker: No big buys
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said on Monday he wasn't concerned by rivals and newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City's ability to out-bid them in the transfer market.
United lost out on successfully defending their title solely on goal difference to City on Sunday when two injury-time goals saw City to a 3-2 win over QPR and their first league crown in 44 years.
However, Ferguson said that he was not going to be forced into a change of transfer policy because of losing out to their city rivals and would stick to investing in young talent.
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"We know City are going to spend fortunes, pay stupid money and silly salaries. We know that happens. We can't do anything about that," the 70-year-old told MUTV at the United player of the year dinner.
"We are not like other clubs who can spend fortunes on proven goods.
“We invest in players who will be with the club for a long time, who will create the character of the club and the excitement for our fans.
Ferguson, who is believed to be targeting two stars from Borussia Dortmund's successful Bundesliga title defence Japanese international Shinji Kagawa and Polish star Robert Lewandowski, said there was no need for a large scale overhaul of his squad.
This despite finishing without a trophy, being knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage and letting an eight point lead over City in early April slip.
"We have set out our stall for certain players and we want to make sure the evolution continues at United," said Ferguson.
"We don't always win it because we are always there, which is great credit to how we view things.
Scholes commits another season for Man Utd
Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes will play on for another season, the Premier League club's manager Alex Ferguson said on Monday.
Another hint that United may not spend big in the transfer window.
The 37-year-old former England international quit at the end of the 2010-11 campaign but came out of retirement in January and played a key role in helping United finish second in the Premier League behind Manchester City.
"I am delighted, he knew he had made a mistake," Ferguson told MUTV at United's player of the year dinner. "He now realises if he plays 25 or 30 games next season, they will be of real quality.
"I think this will be Paul's last season. We know him very well. We have had him since he was a kid. We know how to use him."
With several United midfielders injured, Scholes made a shock return to the side as a substitute in the FA Cup third-round win at Manchester City in January and played 21 matches before the end of the season, scoring four goals.
Despite playing only half the campaign, Scholes finished third in the vote for England's Footballer of the Year, behind Arsenal striker Robin van Persie and United team mate Wayne Rooney.
There has been speculation that he could be included in England's European Championship squad which will be named by new coach Roy Hodgson on Wednesday.
Scholes, who won the last of his 66 England caps in 2004, has played nearly 700 games for United and scored 154 goals, helping the Old Trafford club win two Champions Leagues, 10 Premier League titles and three FA Cups.