Manchester United have been left even more frustrated by their failed pursuit of Arturo Vidal after Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri claimed the Chilean playmaker was never for sale.
The Daily Express carries quotes from the Italian coach who insists that as soon as he took over from Antonio Conte at the Serie 'A' champions, he was given assurances by the club's board that the midfielder would not be leaving Turin.
Vidal's future was one of the most talked about subjects during the summer transfer window, with endless speculation suggesting the World Cup star would end up following Louis van Gaal to Old Trafford.
As recently as deadline day the Red Devils were linked with a £40 million bid for the 27-year-old's services, but it now appears the Premier League giants were wasting their time because Juventus had no intention of negotiating a deal all along.
Massimiliano Allegri quotes:
"Vidal? He's never been for sale," explained Allegri. "The management told me from the beginning that he would stay.
"We kept a good roster, with many excellent purchases."
The £59.7 million signing of Argentine winger Angel di Maria from Real Madrid and deadline day capture of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao from AS Monaco will have gone some way to appeasing Manchester United fans that had grown increasingly impatient with the ongoing transfer saga surrounding Vidal.
However, Van Gaal is unlikely to be so forgiving and will be furious at the amount of time and effort wasted on attempting to bring the box-to-box star to England, particularly now that it seems to have been a lost cause from the outset.
The Dutch coach was aware of Vidal's long-standing knee problem that had also threatened to ruin the deal, but the Red Devils boss was exploring the possibility of offering the player a pay-as-you-play contract.
Despite missing out on the Serie 'A' star, Manchester United did manage to bring in a total of six new faces to Old Trafford, with Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind joining the aforementioned Di Maria and Falcao in the new-look first-team squad.
The flurry of late window arrivals also forced the club to ship out a number of their underperforming stars, with Javier Hernandez, Shinji Kagawa, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck among the players deemed surplus to requirements for the 2014/15 campaign.