Louis Van Gaal decided against making a bid for Cesc Fabregas or Toni Kroos on his arrival at Manchester United last summer.
The Dutchman took charge at Old Trafford in July and instantly set about revamping his squad with a £150m raid on transfer market.
Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind were among the headline arrivals at the club as Van Gaal set about making his mark.
The United boss also sanctioned a £28.8m deal for Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera, who was a top target for previous boss David Moyes.
However, the Daily Telegraph reports that Van Gaal gave a thumbs down to two other Moyes targets – then-Barcelona man Cesc Fabregas and World Cup winner Toni Kroos.
Fabregas joined Chelsea in a £27m deal last summer, and has played a key role in the Blues’ rise to the top of the Premier League.