Manchester United tried to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer, according to reports.
The Red Devils were busy in the recent transfer window, bringing in Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Varane's arrival marked the end of United's months-long pursuit of a new central defender, with Jules Kounde, Cristian Romero, Pau Torres and Sergio Ramos among those who were linked with a move to Old Trafford.
According to Corriere dello Sport, the Red Devils also pursued a deal for Koulibaly before the window closed at the end of August.
However, they were ultimately unwilling to meet Napoli's asking price for the Senegal international.
The Serie A side demanded £34.1m plus add-ons for Koulibaly, and United were not willing to go that high.
Although the former Genk stopper is widely regarded as one of the world's best centre-backs, he is now 30 years old - two years Varane's senior.
Koulibaly is also settled in Naples and did not push for a move away from the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
"My family is doing very well in Naples and that makes me happy. It's only thanks to them that I've been here for six years because, if they weren't happy, I'd have left already," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport last year.
"My children speak Italian as well as French. We speak both languages at home. We live peacefully here."
It is unlikely that United would have signed both Koulibaly and Varane in the same window.
Harry Maguire is the club captain and a guaranteed starter at Old Trafford, so one of the new additions would probably have ended up on the bench.
It is still early days but Varane has made a promising start to life at United, where his trophy-winning experience will be just as valuable as his overall quality as a defender.
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