Manchester United could reportedly have signed Dayot Upamecano from Valenciennes at the age of 16 but were not prepared to pay £700,000 for the centre-back.
The 21-year-old is currently regarded as one of the best young defenders in European football, and a number of clubs, including United, are expected to battle for his signature next summer.
According to The Sun, the Red Devils had the chance to sign the Frenchman earlier in this career, but the 20-time English champions only offered £500,000 to Valenciennes, who signalled that an extra £200,000 would be needed to complete a deal for the youngster.
United ultimately refused to meet the French club's asking price, which saw Red Bull Salzburg sign him before RB Leipzig completed his signature in 2017.
"Dayot wanted to join United and the fee really was nothing. At first he got the red-carpet treatment but then they would not go that bit further with their offer and he was gone," The Sun quotes an insider as saying.