Sir Alex Ferguson wanted Carlo Ancelotti to succeed him at Manchester United last summer, claims Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
Though Ancelotti - who was in charge of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) then - was already in negotiations with Real to succeed Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu, Ferguson did make an effort to lure the Italian away to United, according to Perez.
"Manchester United wanted him last year. He told me that Ferguson asked him to be his replacement. Possibly United wanted him this year, but I don't know. I can only assure you that they wanted him last year," the Real president told Spanish radio station COPE.
However, after Ancelotti took charge at Real, Ferguson decided to go with fellow Scot David Moyes, which turned out to be a big mistake as the 51-year-old was sacked less than 10 months into his reign at Old Trafford, following a poor debut season that saw United finish seventh in the Premier League and prematurely bow out of all cup competitions.
Meanwhile, Perez dismissed speculations that Ancelotti, who helped Real win the Champions League and Copa Del Rey this season, would have been axed just like his predecessor Mourinho, if he had failed to deliver La Decima.
"At no time was he on his way out. I would have brought him to the club sooner if I could have," Perez added.
Meanwhile, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque had also reportedly turned down United's offer to become their new manager.
The Red Devils, who were desperately looking to turn things around following Moyes' sacking in April, had reportedly approached La Roja boss, with a lucrative two-year deal worth €20m (£16m), according to Spanish newspaper AS.
However, the former Real boss, who still has two more years remaining on his contract with Spain, reportedly refused to even speak to United's representatives. The 63-year-old is understood to be considering retirement after finishing his contract with La Roja.
The Red Devils were finally forced to settle on current Holland coach Louis van Gaal, who will officially take over at Old Trafford after the World Cup.