Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos says a deal for him to move to Manchester United "had basically been done" in 2014 before David Moyes was sacked.
Former United manager Moyes previously revealed in 2018 that Kroos was close to joining him at Old Trafford before he lost his job in April 2014.
Kroos did not receive an update from United about their plans with the club's new manager at the time, Louis van Gaal, yet to take up his new role because he was in charge of the Netherlands for the 2014 World Cup.
Once the tournament began, Carlo Ancelotti, head coach of Real Madrid at the time, swooped in to secure the signing of Kroos from Bayern Munich.
"David Moyes had come to see me and the contract had basically been done but then Moyes was fired and Louis van Gaal came in, which complicated matters," Kroos told The Athletic.
"Louis wanted time to build his own project. I didn't hear anything from United for a while and started having doubts. Then the World Cup started and Carlo Ancelotti called. And that was it."
United were not the only Premier League club to make contact with Kroos in 2014.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez texted the midfielder to convince him to join them at Anfield.
"It wasn't a straight chat-up line but they offered to tell me more about the club and so on," he added. "The funny thing was, Suarez was about to leave to Barcelona anyway."