Manchester United came "very close" to signing Ismaila Sarr during the summer transfer window, according to Watford's former technical director Filippo Giraldi.
The Red Devils were heavily linked with the 23-year-old in the closing stages of the transfer window, though Liverpool were still thought to be interested in getting him back to the Premier League.
Giraldi said that he was "personally negotiating" a transfer to Old Trafford with the 20-time English champions, but the two sides were unable to agree on a fee.
"We were extremely close, I was personally negotiating with them," Giraldi said on the Here We Go Podcast. "We weren't able to reach an agreement. And I think Ismaila is very young, he will arrive for sure.
"He missed probably an opportunity, but I think also for his football to stay here and get 10 goals and 10 assists, he's deciding the league. I think for Watford in the condition they are at the moment it's luck he stayed.
"I love Ismaila because he has the ability to affect the game every time he plays, and that's quite rare.
You see fast wingers becoming more and more important in physical leagues like the Premier League.
"I remember last year against Manchester United and Liverpool, he was the one with Gerard Deulofeu on the other side affecting the game and deciding the game every time. This type of player are players you have to try to maximize and protect them as much as you can."
Sarr has scored nine times and registered nine assists in 33 Championship appearances this season.