Manchester United were unusually quiet on transfer deadline day with the Red Devils only completing one deal on 31 August – an outgoing transfer which involved 21-year-old midfielder Matthew Willock joining Dutch club Utrecht on a season-long loan.

Jose Mourinho has always maintained that he wanted to make four signings this summer, and that was apart from sanctioning a deal to re-sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who the club had released earlier in the summer. The Red Devils brought in Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku, but the Portuguese manager was also keen to add a wide player and was linked with a move for Ivan Perisic.

However, Inter Milan refused to sell the Croatia international as United failed to meet their £50m valuation.

According to a report in The Sun, though, the former Real Madrid coach did try and get in another player by making a last-gasp bid to sign Willian from Chelsea on deadline day. Unfortunately for United, the deal could not go through.

It would have been the second time this summer that United would have raided Chelsea after they signed Matic in a £40m deal from the reigning champions.

The report claims that the Brazilian would have been available for £35m, but it is unlikely that Antonio Conte would have sanctioned a move for a senior player to join their direct rivals on the final day of the transfer window.

It is not the first time that United have made a move for Willian after the forward confirmed an approach from the 20-time English champions earlier in the summer.

The 29-year-old winger was also on Barcelona's radar as they looked for a replacement for Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m (£198m) deal.

Manchester United made a deadline day move for Chelsea's Willian Getty Images

"There were a few conversations with my agent. I worked with Mourinho and I became his friend as well," Willian had told earlier.

"He likes me a lot and I like him a lot as a coach and as a person. He has put his trust in me and in my work, and I was very grateful to him.

"Manchester came to me, they talked with my agent, but nothing happened, because Chelsea would not negotiate me in any way and I'm very happy at Chelsea," the Brazil international had said at the time.