Manchester United reportedly rejected the opportunity to sign Mesut Özil before his transfer to Arsenal in favour of focusing on the acquisition of a midfielder in possession of more domineering qualities.
According to the Daily Mail, Özil was offered to Manchester United in mid-August by the player's father, who is also his agent, only for the Premier League champions to resist the chance to sign the Real Madrid playmaker.
Manchester United, it is claimed, had decided that the recruitment of a more defensive-minded midfielder was a priority, with the club instead looking to the likes of Daniele De Rossi of Roma and Real Madrid's Sami Khedira.
However, as David Moyes' troubles in the transfer window persisted, the club are reported to revived their interest in Özil as they looked to make a signing of some repute before the deadline.
Manchester United are said to have been in contact with Real Madrid in the final hours of the transfer period, with the Spanish giants reported to have been willing to sell the player to the Red Devils as late as 8pm.
A bid made by Moyes, however, did not match that of the one on the table from Arsenal, with Özil eventually moving to the Emirates Stadium in a club record deal worth in the region of £42.5 million.
After losing out to the Gunners in pursuit of the Germany international, Manchester United made Everton's Marouane Fellaini their only marquee of the summer.