He said: “Twice I had a chance of joining Manchester United. When I was 16 or 17 and then later when I was leaving Auxerre.
“Guy Roux actually wanted me to choose Manchester United over Roma.
“But the jump from Auxerre to United would have been too great. Roma are also a major club, but when I first signed for them the team was in transition and there was a better chance of me playing and developing.”
Mexes added: “I still have the Manchester shirt they gave me with my name on the back. The memories of touring the club and the stadium will always live with me.
“But I do no regret a thing. I am happy at Roma and playing in Italy, I know, has helped me grow as a defender. I don’t think I would be the same player if I’d moved to England.”