Manchester United manager David Moyes has revealed that the club nearly brought in a very high-profile signing during the summer transfer window, but would not reveal the players identity.
The Old Trafford club were criticised for failing to add a world-class signing to the squad in a summer that saw them miss out on a number of targets.
Moyes' latest words came in the context of him insisting there was serious money to spend when the window reopens at the turn of the year, but fans of the Red Devils may not react as positively to his words as he envisaged.
Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera and Gareth Bale were all linked with a move to the Premier League champions at one time or another, but none of them came off and the only significant signing made by Moyes was of his former charge at Everton, Marouane Fellaini.
This failure to land a big-name signing meant he and the club received substantial criticism not long after he had succeeded the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson, but he insisted there was money to splash if the right player came along and that he was ready to spend it.
"We can definitely find the money for a big deal, 100 per cent. I know that because the money was available this summer," he is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
"We were very close to a major, major signing, and if it had gone through it would have definitely shown what the club is worth.
"We didn't do it in the end, we didn't quite get there because players had chosen other clubs or made different decisions, but we were close to a couple of major signings and we didn't miss out because of money, that's for sure."
After a somewhat stuttering start to the defence of their Premier League title, many fans will be hoping the club have some big-money ambitions in the winter window, but Moyes said it would have to be another target as the man they missed out on in the summer was unlikely to be available.
"I don't see the particular deal we were looking at being resurrected in January. And I would be surprised if it crops up again next summer," he added.