Sprint Nextel ( S) said it received "significant interest" from potential acquirers of its Nextel iDen unit, according to a report. Sprint paid $36 billion for Nextel and its iDen "push-to-talk" network in 2005 but has struggled since then to integrate the Nextel operations, the Financial Times reports. There has been speculation recently that Nextel might be sold to a consortium including private equity firms for about $5 billion. Most analysts have suggested, however, that such a deal was unlikely in the current credit environment, the Financial Times reports. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse on Wednesday acknowledged that while there has been considerable interest in iDen, a sale was not the company's only option. He did say that any deal requiring a suitor to raise capital would be difficult under current market conditions, according to the newspaper. Hesse said he remained optimistic about closing a separate deal with Clearwire ( CLWR) in which the companies plan to fold their WiMax operations into a new company.