Dayot Upamecano will officially become a Bayern Munich player at the end of the season, but the central defender could just have easily moved to the Premier League.
The 22-year-old will leave RB Leipzig for the Bundesliga and Champions League holders after a deal was struck between the two German sides last week.
However, both Liverpool and Manchester United had the opportunity to sign the Frenchman and passed up the opportunity for different reasons.
According to ESPN, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided against signing Upamecano because he wanted to sign a left-footed centre-back to play alongside Harry Maguire.
The Red Devils already have Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones at their disposal, but Solskjaer wants to add more balance to his defensive line-up.
Bitter rivals Liverpool also conceded defeat in the race to sign one of Europe’s most coveted players, simply because they did not act quickly enough.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed on his Here We Go podcast that the Reds thought Premier League rivals Chelsea would provide the most turgid resistance – only for the Bavarians to strike.
He said: “They were in contact with the agent, but nothing like an official bid.
“Bayern Munich understood that the situation was getting dangerous because Chelsea [were] around with big money and Liverpool were talking with the agent.
“So they said it’s better to go right now – contacted the player, finding an agreement with the player in one week, a five-year contract, and then paying the release clause.
“They found an agreement with Leipzig, they had a private agreement for a guarantee about the release clause. And that’s how they did it.
“And they wanted to be 100 per sure they could sign the player because he knows the Bundesliga and everything, so they wanted him.
“But they were really in danger because when you have Chelsea and Liverpool in the same race, you have to be fast.”