Manchester United had a sensational bid for Ansu Fati turned down by Barcelona a year ago, according to fresh reports.
It was the same summer transfer window in which the Red Devils failed to sign Jadon Sancho, who has since arrived at Old Trafford in a blockbuster £73million deal.
Sancho was a long-term target for United before they finally ended a dramatic two-year transfer saga ahead of the season.
The 21-year-old has been signed from Borussia Dortmund, where he had earned a reputation as one of the best young wingers in Europe.
He is yet to score in any of his five United appearances so far but the club view him as a long-term investment.
However, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could instead have been choosing a different young forward in his opening matches this season as an alternative target has been uncovered.
That is because the Old Trafford hierarchy made a sensational £85m bid for Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati in the summer of 2020, according to Spanish outlet AS.
They presumable triggered the offer after Dortmund priced them out of a move for Sancho in the same window.
The Bundesliga side are widely believed to have valued the England winger at well over £100m.
United were concerned about completing such a huge deal in the middle of a pandemic and a financial crisis.
Barcelona turned down the bid for Fati. United made three first team additions that summer with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.
A deal was also struck for teenage winger Amad Diallo to join the following January.
Fati is currently injured but has been handed the No. 10 shirt vacated by legendary Barca forward Lionel Messi.
The 18-year-old has made 43 appearances for the club and scored 13 goals. He made his debut aged just 16 having graduated the La Masia system.
Meanwhile, Sancho is gradually settling into life at United. He did not feature in pre-season after returning late from Euro 2020.
Boss Solskjaer has insisted that the player – who scored 50 goals and provided 64 assists in 137 appearances for Dortmund – will only improve.
“For me, he fits us like a glove because he is creative, fearless, he has got quality, is hard working, is humble and he has got all of the attributes to be a success at Man United,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports last month.
“He’s very young and sometimes you think ‘wow, all the experience he has on his young shoulders’.
“He will also get better.”