Burnley midfielder Steven Defour has opened up about how a dream move to Manchester United collapsed, leaving him heart-broken.
The Belgian had been tracked by Sir Alex Ferguson for quite a while. However, just before the legendary Scotsman was going to move in for him, the midfielder suffered an agonising injury – a broken bone in his foot.
Sir Alex then wrote a letter to Defour in 2009, wishing him a speedy recovery and promising to keep an eye on him.
However, the 28-year-old has admitted that it was hard to get back to his best as soon as he recovered, and the opportunity of representing United in a competition such as the Champions League had escaped him.
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Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, he said: “Before my injury it [a United move] was one of the possibilities, because I knew they were following me but then came that severe injury and that was quite a hard one from me.
“It was an open fracture of my foot and I was really down because, for the first time, I could have played in the Champions League and then three days before I broke my foot so I was really down.
“It was difficult to find my form before my injury to have the level of a club like Manchester United.”
Defour joined Burnley this summer, and became their record-signing after sealing an £8m pound move from Anderlecht in August. He is confident that the club have invested wisely, and that he will do his best to help the Clarets avoid relegation this season.
“I just want to show my quality to help Burnley and to stay in the Premier League,” he said.
“He [Burnley boss Sean Dyche] asked me to get the ball, to take my responsibility and get the team playing. It’s really a group, it’s really a team. It’s a team that really fits together and everybody is working for everybody.”