David Moyes tried in vain to sign the former-Arsenal star, only to find him unwilling to leave his boyhood club Barcelona.
Fabregas was the second Barcelona player Manchester United had courted that summer, after they failed to convince Thiago Alcantara that Old Trafford was still an attractive location to play post-Sir Alex Ferguson.
Now, in an almost comical fashion, Manchester United are in pursuit of Andres Iniesta, who is currently at odds with the La Liga champions over a new contract.
They are doomed to failure yet again and it is hard to believe the reports that Fabregas was ever tempted by a move to Manchester United.
For one, both players have been born and bred at the Nou Camp. Barcelona runs through their veins and it is naive to suggest that anyone would want to leave behind the 99,000 capacity stadium and the conveyer belt of silverware that comes with playing for the Catalan giants without a very, very good reason.
They're in the country of their birth, playing with people they grew up with and scoring goals and winning trophies for fun.
Swap that for Old Trafford, where the talismanic leader Ferguson has just retired to be replaced by his compatriot Moyes.
The squad is ageing and lacking in quality. They have been exposed by Liverpool and West Brom so far this season and have relied on Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to drag them to a respectable position.
The prospect of leaving a club at the summit of world football for one that is facing a rapid decline is not attractive for any footballer, let alone the special talents of Fabregas and Iniesta.
What makes the claim that Fabregas was considering the move more frivolous is his connection with Arsenal.
The player has continued to reiterate his desire for Arsenal since his departure in 2011 and has also claimed that he hopes to return there one day.
Still held in high regard and owing a lot to Arsene Wenger for letting him leave in the first place, Fabregas is not the kind of man to go behind his back and sign for Manchester United, who Arsenal are now directly competing for the title with.
Surely if he was ever going to leave Barcelona, it would be to make a famous Arsenal return or to sample a different league altogether.
It makes sense for Manchester United to pursue world-class stars, but they're are trying to sign the 99th percentile of professional footballers - the ones that, even for the Premier League title holders, are out of reach.
To save further embarrassment they need to start searching for players who are looking for a step up, not a step down.