Roma coach Rudi Garcia has revealed that Manchester United made an enquiry for Daniele De Rossi in the last week of August, but the call came after a deadline the club had set for a deal to be struck.
De Rossi was consistently linked with a switch to the Premier League during the close-season, with United and Chelsea heading the list of clubs interested in the Italy international.
Garcia has declared that United were in touch about the midfielder, but Roma had already decided not to sell with limited time to secure a replacement of the same stature.
He told L'Equipe: "In the summer we talked about his future. He is from Rome, but there were some big clubs looking at him.
"I told him that I could not lose him last minute, so we set a date after which no-one would leave. That is exactly what happened.
"A few days after the first Serie A match of the season, Manchester United called the club and called him, but the date had passed and he didn't move."
The 30-year-old has helped Roma make their best-ever start to a Serie A season, with the Giallorossi topping Serie A after winning six successive league games.