Manchester United are alleged to have contacted Jose Mourinho as early as 2013, holding a secret meeting with the then Real Madrid boss about directly succeeding the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson, before ultimately hiring David Moyes instead.
It has long been thought that United passed over Mourinho in favour of Ferguson's preferred choice in fellow Scot Moyes, but a new revelation suggests that version of events might not have actually been the case at all.
According to a fresh claim by the Daily Mail, Ed Woodward, who was in place to become executive vice-chairman following David Gill's departure also that summer, travelled to Madrid to personally meet with Mourinho in April.
The secret talks are said to have taken place in a people carrier with darkened windows outside Atletico Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium where Real were playing that day (27th April).
However, despite United identifying Mourinho as the man they wanted, by that time the Portuguese had already apparently agreed his return to Chelsea instead. It was therefore that which left United to turn to Moyes shortly afterwards, announcing the new boss on 9th May.
The report from the Mail alleges that United officials saw Mourinho as the man who would ensure United remained competitive through the handover and change of eras, with his personality and perceived ability to handle the demands attractive.
It was, however, not to be and Woodward had to wait for three years and two managers to finally make it happen.