Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal tried to sign £8m goalkeeper Keylor Navas before Real Madrid eventually secured his signature last summer, according to reports in Spain.
Sports newspaper Marca, often described as the Spanish club's mouthpiece, suggests the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager had been impressed by his performances for Costa Rica at the World Cup.
Van Gaal is believed to have contacted Navas' agent only to be told that an agreement was already in place with Madrid.
The 28-year-old has made just 2 appearances for the Champions League holders, but his fortunes are unlikely to have been any better at Old Trafford.
David de Gea has been ever present in the United side this season, despite rumours of a rift with van Gaal, and Victor Valdes now sits on the bench most weekends.
The former Barcelona goalkeeper joined on a fee transfer in the hope of securing more game time but that has yet to materialise.
Anders Lindegaard also remains the Red Devils' third choice in between the sticks, meaning United are well covered in the position.