The much-talked-about hunt for the leading lady of Salman Khan's "Sultan" came to end on Friday night after Yash Raj Films announced that it was Anushka Sharma who made the final cut.

But according to a Bollywood Life source, the "Dil Dhadakne Do" stunner didn't have it easy as Priyanka Chopra was one of the strong contenders for the role and Aditya Chopra was considering roping her in for the project instead.

"Adi was talking about casting Priyanka because she has the physique and the acting prowess to carry out the part. But Salman felt that it should be a fresh pairing. He and Priyanka have already worked together in Mujhse Shaadi Karoge and God Tussi Great Ho. So Anushka got the preference over Priyanka," the insider further elaborated.

Even if Chopra had been pulled in, she wouldn't have been able to devote much time. The actress is now busy with the shooting of "Quantico" in the US. The show is on a midseason break at present. Meanwhile, Sharma has only one film, "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil", whose final schedule begins only in March.

Thrilled and excited to be working with the charming actor, Anushka told the web portal that she considers herself fortunate to have worked with the three Khans of the industry, the two other being -- Shah Rukh and Aamir.

"I am thrilled and excited to work with Salman Khan, I think there is no one like him because of his persona. The film is something I am really excited about and I am more excited about my role and all in all, it is something I am waiting to dig my teeth into," Sharma further elaborated.