Everton chief Marcel Brands has confirmed that Manchester United rebuffed the Toffees' attempts to sign Donny van de Beek this summer.
The 24-year-old endured a torrid first campaign at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was tipped to leave the club after just one season.
Everton were said to have seen a last-ditch attempt to sign Van de Beek blocked in the most recent transfer window, and technical director Brands has seemingly hinted that another transfer attempt could be on the cards.
Speaking to NOS, the Everton chief said: "We had him on our list. At the beginning of the transfer window, we enquired at United, then it was impossible.
"At the end of the window, I received a call from Guido Albers, his agent, that he might be rented out after all. But at the last minute it was cancelled. Stopped again.
"You always depend on whether a club wants to cooperate. And it is early October, so much can still happen with injuries. United are playing on various fronts, it's hard to say now.
"It is of course a pity for Donny. He is a very good player, no doubt about it. Such a boy wants to play and wants to return to the Dutch national team. But you know that at such a club the pressure is great and the competition is huge. When you see what United had sitting on the bench: Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba..."
Van de Beek started just four Premier League games in the 2020-21 season and has only played 151 minutes of football so far this term across all competitions.