Manchester United made a €100m (£82) bid to sign Cristiano Ronaldo last summer as David Moyes wanted him as the centrepiece of his new project, reports in Spain claim.
The Premier League holders were desperately looking to bolster the squad over the summer with one marquee signing to help then manager Moyes in his forlorn job to replace Sir Alex Ferguson.
Indeed, some reports in England claimed earlier this season that United launched a world-record £100million bid to hijack Gareth Bale's move from Tottenham to Real Madrid while Spanish AS revealed that they also made an approach for Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
But now Spanish newspaper Sport say, alongside Bale and Messi, United also made an audacious €100 bid to Real Madrid to secure the return of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.
The Portuguese star spent six seasons in the Premier League scoring 117 goals and becoming a favourite of the Manchester United supporters before making his £76m move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
But United wanted him back at Old Trafford to help Moyes rebuild the Reds and keep them in the Premier League elite after Ferguson's departure.
According to Sport, Real Madrid was at the time trying to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona after the Catalans had hijacked their bid for Brazilian Neymar. Los Blancos president Florentino Perez considered cashing in Ronaldo in order to fund Argentinian Messi's €250m release clause.
However, Messi ruled out a move to Real Madrid leaving United with no chance to sign Ronaldo either.
So after having also bids rejected for Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera United just signed Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini in the final minutes of the summer transfer window.