Manchester United was pursuing Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane in the summer transfer window, according to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
The Old Trafford club’s pursuit of Sergio Ramos earlier this summer was widely reported, with the defender ultimately choosing to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu and extend his contract.
But Perez says Louis van Gaal had his eye on three additional Madrid stars, all of whom ignored advances from clubs to remain with Rafael Benitez’s men for 2015-16.
Article continues below ...
"We know that United showed interest in Bale, Benzema and Varane," Perez told Cadena Ser.
Bale has been linked with Manchester United for almost a year, with his troublesome second season at Madrid causing some to speculate he would return to England two years after leaving Tottenham for 100 million euros ($111 million).
But that La Liga-to-Premier League move never materialized, with France international Benzema also rejecting any suggestions he might leave the Spanish capital for interested suitor Arsenal.
Varane has been linked with United since he was a highly rated prospect at Lens, but Zinedine Zidane’s presence at Madrid helped the club beat its Champions League foe to his signing in 2011.
With the Madrid trio all staying put, United turned its attention to Monaco on deadline day when it signed teenage forward Anthony Martial in a move that could eventually be worth an estimated 59 million pounds ($89 million).
The Red Devils also signed Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero in a busy transfer window.