Manchester United had agreed personal terms with centre-back Michael Keane in 2017 after a phone call from then-manager Jose Mourinho, before the club ultimately decided to move for Victor Lindelof instead.
With Mourinho on the lookout for a new central defender in the summer of 2017, a number of names were linked with the Red Devils. But it was Lindelof who sealed his transfer to Manchester for around £31m. He has since become a regular first-team member, partnering Harry Maguire at the back.
But the Athletic report that not everyone involved with Man Utd considered Lindelof to be the right centre-back to bring in. Instead, 'some staff' were more keen on the idea of re-signing former United man Keane. The Red Devils opened talks with the player - who was then with Burnley - to discuss a potential move, and the Englishman even agreed personal terms with his former club after a phone call with Mourinho.
However, Mourinho later decided to change his mind and bring in Lindelof from Benfica instead, with it being suggested super agent Jorge Mendes played an important role in the deal. Keane ended up departing Burnley for Everton in July 2017, with the Toffees paying around £25m for his services.
Despite pulling out of a potential deal in 2017, United actually considered making another push for Keane's services last summer as they looked to strengthen at the back once again. Maguire was the first-choice target, but United were initially hesitant to meet Leicester City's valuation. Of course, the Red Devils did eventually give in and paid a world-record £80m for the England international's services.
Keane had been training with Man Utd since the age of 11 before officially joining as an academy scholar in 2009. The defender progressed through the ranks and featured regularly for the U-23s, but only ever made five first-team appearances for the club before leaving for Burnley initially on loan and then permanently.
Despite Lindelof being the regular pick next to Maguire, there are a number of doubts as to whether he is the suitable partner for the captain. United are said to be in the market for a new centre-back this summer, with a quick defender required to complement Maguire. The likes of Dayot Upamecano have been linked, but any move has been made more challenging with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggling to offload a number of defenders so far.