Patrice Evra (L) and Jose Mourinho
Manchester United targeted Filipe Luis as Evra replacement last January. Reuters

Manchester United tried to sign Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis by launching a £17m bid during the January transfer window but both the player and the Spanish side rejected the proposal, reports in Spain claim.

After signing Juan Mata from Chelsea, Manager David Moyes was trying to bolster his squad with a left-back and the Premier League champions were heavily linked with both long-term target Fabio Coentrao and Southampton youngster Luke Shaw.

However, with neither Real Madrid nor Mauricio Pochettino's side unwilling to let their left-backs leave the squad at mid-season, Spanish newspaper AS claimed that Luis became Moyes's first choice

According to the reports, United made a £17m bid to secure the Brazilian international's services but Atletico blocked his exit as Diego Simeone considers him a pivotal player in his side and has no back-up in his current squad.

Furthermore, the 28-year-old defender also rejected the move to Old Trafford as he believes that staying in La Liga, where he is excelling, can increase his chances of making the trip to the next summer's World Cup in Brazil.

United sold Fabio da Silva to Cardiff City in January and with Patrice Evra's contract expiring at the end of the season Moyes was desperately looking for a consistent replacement for the French International, as Alexander Buttner has failed to convince him that he deserves a place in the starting line-up during the first half of the season.

Los Colchoneros signed Luis from Deportivo La Coruna in summer 2010 after paying £10m to secure his services, and he has garnered a reputation as one of the best left-backs in Europe since then, becoming a key player in Atletico's recent success.