Manchester United reportedly wanted to sign Rafael Varane.
Red Devils chief executive Ed Woodward even met with Real President Florentino Perez over the summer to sound him out over the centre-back's availability, but were told he was unavailable.
United were scared off and did not submit an offer.
The club did not consider any other centre-back on Jose Mourinho's wishlist of a similar value.
Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire were considered overpriced by United's board, even at lower values.
Varane worked under Mourinho at Real Madrid and has gone onto become a multiple time Champions League winner.
He also won the World Cup this summer, starring for France as they beat Croatia in the final.
United fans can only dream of what might have been.