Bayer Leverkusen rebuffed Manchester United's attempts to open talks over a deal for Moussa Diaby, according to reports.
United were keen to bring the winger to Old Trafford during the recent transfer window, but Leverkusen were unwilling to sell.
Bild report that the Red Devils contacted Leverkusen in the summer with the hope of entering discussions to sign Diaby.
Jadon Sancho was United's leading transfer target, but Borussia Dortmund refused to sell the England international after a self-imposed deadline in August had passed.
That forced United to consider alternatives, even if they did not give up hope of landing Sancho until late in the window.
Diaby was among the players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side considered, and the club were supposedly willing to offer €50m for him.
Diaby primarily plays on the left flank but has been deployed on the right-hand side on occasion.
He scored five goals and provided five assists in the Bundesliga last term, and United identified him as a player who could improve their attack.
But Leverkusen told the Red Devils that they were unwilling to sell Diaby, particularly after the sale of Kai Havertz to Chelsea.
The winger is under contract at the BayArena until 2024 and Leverkusen did not feel under pressure to sell him.
That forced United to look elsewhere, with the club eventually agreeing deals to sign Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo from Penarol and Atalanta respectively.
It is unclear whether United will return for Diaby in January or next summer, but much will depend on the outcome of their Sancho pursuit.
Solskjaer's side recorded a vital 3-1 victory over Everton on Saturday to ease the pressure on their under-fire manager.
According to the Manchester Evening News, United have approached Mauricio Pochettino with a view to him replacing Solskjaer in the Old Trafford dugout.
However, Saturday's success at Goodison Park may have brought the Norwegian a stay of execution.
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