Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque reportedly rejected an offer to become Manchester United boss a month ago, just after the Premier League giants decided to part ways with David Moyes and well before they approached Louis Van Gaal.
United sacked Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement on 22 April, 10 months after he signed a six-year contract with the club.
With Ryan Giggs taking Moyes' job on a temporary basis until the end of last season, United began the search for a new manager - and according to Madrid-based newspaper AS, their first choice was Del Bosque.
The Spanish newspaper claims on its front cover that the 63-year-old turned down the United proposal at the end of April – and then Van Gaal was offered the job.
AS claims that Del Bosque didn't even consider the United proposal as he wants to continue as Spain manager two more years – even though they claim he would have received £16m a year at Old Trafford.
The report adds that, while Ferguson backed Del Bosque's appointment Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone was also considered, along with van Gaal.
Del Bosque rejected Inter Milan in 2011 because he wants to stay as Spanish National boss for two more seasons, before moving to a technical director role at the Federation.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez recently claimed that Ferguson asked Carlo Ancelotti to replace him at Manchester United last summer – but the Paris Saint Germain boss chose the Bernabeu instead.
"Manchester United wanted him [Ancelotti] last year. He told me that Ferguson asked him to be his replacement."