Manchester United held talks with Chelsea's Ashley Cole over the possibility of signing the left-back last summer.
The Daily Mail suggest Cole's representatives spoke with Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid before he eventually signed a deal to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United were forced into turning their attention to Everton's Leighton Baines and Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao during the summer.
However both deals collapsed as Baines decided to stay at Goodison Park - while Manchester United failed to complete the required paperwork to sign Coentrao on a season-long loan deal.
Manchester United were said to be one of several clubs chasing Cole's signature this summer until news broke that they were closing in on the signing of Southampton's Luke Shaw.
The Red Devils are said to have offered Southampton a staggering £27million to sign 18-year-old Shaw as they - like England boss Roy Hodgson - have decided to plump with youth over experience.