Gareth Bale reportedly turned down a move to Manchester United this summer after being sacrificed by Real Madrid in a bid to raise funds for Kylian Mbappe.
The Sunday Times claims Real were so desperate to get their hands on Mbappe that they offered former world-record signing Bale to the Red Devils.
NEW CUSTOMER OFFER: ENGLAND NOW 33/1 TO BEAT SLOVAKIA WITH SUN BETS
However, the Welshman rejected the move, leaving United completely empty-handed in their search for a new winger.
The report adds Cristiano Ronaldo was also set to join Manchester United this summer before seeing his Real Madrid exit scuppered by Mbappe’s father.
LIKE FANTASY FOOTBALL? SIGN UP TO PLAY DREAM TEAM WEEKENDER NOW
Ronaldo had made it clear to Real that he wanted a return to Old Trafford after his Spanish tax scandal erupted.
Los Blancos chiefs agreed to sell him in another effort to fund a move for wonder-kid Mbappe.
But it’s said that the youngster’s dad wasn’t keen on him leaving France for the Santiago Bernabeu during a crucial stage of his development.
As such, Mbappe eventually rejected Real before agreeing a season-long loan with Paris Saint-Germain.
It meant that Ronaldo was denied his United move and reunion with Jose Mourinho, which could have a big impact on this season’s Premier League title race.
Mourinho also saw attempts to sign Ivan Perisic blocked by Inter Milan, with the Croatian now set to sign a new contract at the San Siro.
Meanwhile, Riyad Mahrez earmarked himself as Mourinho’s saviour on transfer deadline day by trying to force a move away from Leicester.
But United decided against making a bid, which could suggest that they are continuing to monitor Ronaldo and Bale ahead of potential offers next summer.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: England now 33/1 beat Slovakia
FANCY the Three Lions to coast to victory against Slovakia at Wembley?
Well get on Sun Bets’ huge 33/1 (new customers only) for England to win their World Cup qualifier.