After a superb Ligue 1-winning campaign with Monaco last term, Fabinho fuelled talk of a move to Old Trafford during the summer transfer window, admitting it would be "very tempting" to join the Premier League side.
That charm offensive continued when the 23-year-old revealed he would jump at the chance to play under Jose Mourinho again, the man who gave him his senior debut during a brief spell at Real Madrid in 2013.
Manchester City, meanwhile, signed both Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy from Monaco and were also said to be keen on their teammate Fabinho. The French champions eventually managed to hold onto the player, along with Thomas Lemar, who Arsenal tried to sign for £90m (€101.2m) on transfer deadline day.
But speaking to Sky Sports News, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev admitted another approach next summer could prove more successful.
"He is one the key players in our squad, a very regular player," Vasilyev said. "He is very important, we can always count on. We very happy that we managed to keep him. I think this is one player you want to keep forever.
"But we realise in Monaco we have a certain model, that at a certain moment when we feel it is right we have to let players go in order to be successful again. This is not only about the money, this is about being successful."
After confirming "strong interest" from both Manchester clubs, Vasilyev added: "This is just normal. We just have to find the right time for each of them."
January is unlikely to be the right time for Fabinho, however, with Monaco hopeful of keeping hold of him until the end of the season.
"Yes, that is the idea of course [Fabinho to stay in January]. You never want to make any major changes in January, except [for] something really extraordinary."