As reported by talkSPORT, the 29-year-old defender, who has a £24.2m (€30m) release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract, had been tipped to replace Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford.
Louis Van Gaal is without Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic following their summer departures, and another centre-back addition is thought to be a top priority for the Dutchman before the close of the transfer window on September 2.
Miranda is not the only target for United, who have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels and a number of Van Gaal's Dutch internationals.
But Miranda prefers to stay in Spain, with Barcelona his number one choice. The La Liga giants are also looking to strengthen at the back after Carles Puyol retired at the end of last season.
They signed Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia for £15.8m, but could be tempted to move for Miranda too as they look to compete on all three fronts again next term.
The defender is reportedly keen on a Nou Camp switch, and has told his agent to contact Barcelona to make it clear that he would be willing to move if an offer is made.
Atletico Madrid are in a strong position though. They've been raided this summer with Diego Costa and Filipe Luis departing for Chelsea and Diego Simeone wants to halt the exodus.
As a result, Barcelona or Manchester United must pay the defender's full buyout clause if they are serious about signing him. That's a steep price to pay for a centre-back who will turn 30 in September.
With just over a month remaining in the transfer window, Van Gaal is expected to build on the progress made so far. Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have both made United debuts on the club's preseason tour of the United States, a successful trip so far with two wins from two and 10 goals scored.
But central midfield is still an area Van Gaal is looking to improve, hence the interest in Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, while the defence remains a concern. United have lost a huge amount of experience with the departures of Ferdinand, Vidic and left-back Patrice Evra.