Manchester United's transfer deadline day nightmare also included a failed bid to sign Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric, according to the Daily Mail.
David Moyes secured the signing of Everton star Marouane Fellaini before the 11pm deadline but there was embarrassment for the Old Trafford club as several attempted deals failed to materialise, despite the club's willingness to spend.
Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera was a Manchester United target and a five-year contract had reportedly been agreed for the 24-year-old, but Old Trafford officials could not get the deal done and there were strange reports claiming the people supposedly representing the Premier League champions at the Primera Division headquarters were imposters, or at least not authorised to act for them.
Reports then emerged that Moyes had sanctioned a €40million bid for the Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, but the Spanish giants knocked it back having already sold playmaker Mesut Özil to Arsenal.
Now the Daily Mail claim Manchester United also tried to explore the possibility of going after another Madrid star in Modric, but their enquiries were rebuffed and the window closed with only the purchase of Fellaini.
The failure to do more business has led to many fans of the Old Trafford club to accuse Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward of making the club a laughing stock, though there is little to be done now.