Manchester United reportedly attempted to cut out super-agent Mino Raiola from a deal to sign Erling Braut Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg.
The Red Devils had been strongly linked with a move for the 19-year-old before it was announced that Borussia Dortmund had won the race for the centre-forward.
According to the Daily Mail, the 20-time English champions had attempted to bypass Raiola and instead agree a deal with the forward's father, Alf-Inge Haaland, who also represents him.
However, United failed to strike an agreement without Raiola's input, meaning that Dortmund quickly emerged as the favourites to land the Norway international at the start of the month.
The Red Devils are expected to be active during this month's transfer window with their squad stretched, particularly in midfield, through injury and lack of numbers.