MANCHESTER UNITED reportedly wanted Eduardo Camavinga and Saul Niguez before bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club.
The Portuguese legend, 36, returned to Old Trafford from Juventus on deadline day and he has already scored five goals for the Red Devils.
Ronaldo looked set to join rivals Man City before a phone call from Sir Alex Ferguson persuaded him to come back to the club he left for Real Madrid in 2009.
His arrival followed the captures of French defender Raphael Varane from Los Blancos, winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund plus freebie reserve goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
However, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, speaking on his YouTube channel, has now claimed United had originally not been planning on a move for Ronaldo.
Instead, they wanted to bring in either 18-year-old Camavinga from Rennes or Saul from Atletico Madrid to bolster their midfield.
French international Camavinga has now gone on to sign for LaLiga giants Real Madrid.
Meanwhile Saul did get a transfer to the Premier League.
He has joined Chelsea on loan in a £4.5m deal for the rest of the season.
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However, the decision to instead get Ronaldo has left boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still with a dilemma in the middle of the park after initially identifying it as an area he wanted to strengthen.
Scott McTominay and Fred are usually deployed by the Norwegian while veteran Nemanja Matic is reaching the twilight stage of his career.
And doubts still remain over Donny van de Beek’s future as the Dutchman continues to struggle for match action.
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