Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has admitted that he wanted to sign Inter midfielder Patrick Vieira.

Speaking as he unveiled new midfield signing Michael Carrick, Ferguson admitted his interest in a player who joined Inter earlier on Wednesday from demoted Juventus.

“Patrick was something we considered, but I believe he has accepted a really good deal from Inter Milan,” Ferguson told a news conference.

Ferguson also said that Carrick had not been signed as a replacement for former skipper and Roy Keane, who quit the club to join Celtic last season, but has now retired from football.

“Roy Keane is one of the best players of all time,” Ferguson said. “We don’t see any new Roy Keanes out there now.

“Michael is a different type of passer to Roy and is a lot more imaginative in his passing. Like Roy, though, he keeps hold of possession.”

Carrick will wear Roy Keane’s number 16 shirt at Old Trafford, but insisted he felt no pressure to emulate the former United player.

“People are always going to talk about Roy, he is one of the legends in the game, but I’m my own man and replacing him is not something I’m focused on,” he said.

“I’m focused on my own game and that’s the best way to go for me.

“Once I heard United were involved in trying to sign me I wanted to come, simple as that,” he said.

“It’s a terrific club and I just wanted to come and improve my game, achieve things and win trophies.”

Carrick said on Tuesday that the move was made to advance his career.

“It’s an offer that has come at the right time – professionally and personally,” he said.

“I felt I couldn’t turn it down. This is a football decision, a decision not driven by money.”