Real Madrid's failure to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco was down to Manchester United's decision not to pursue a move for Gareth Bale.
That is according to the Daily Mirror, who have claimed that Los Blancos missed out on the wonderkid striker to Paris Saint-Germain because United didn't lure Bale to Old Trafford this summer.
Mbappe completed a season-long loan switch to Monaco's title rivals on transfer deadline day, and PSG will be able to make his move permanent next summer for a reported €165m.
Real had been chasing the 28-year-old all summer long, and various reports had suggested that they would win the battle to land Mbappe's signature ahead of other interested parties.
However, a meeting in July with Mbappe's father Wilfried appear to turn the entire saga on its head, and Real were left sweating on United moving for Bale to be able to secure the French international.
Wilfried Mbappe became concerned that his son would not earn enough minutes of the pitch to continue his footballing development at Santiago Bernabeu, given the attacking riches that Zinedine Zidane had at his disposal in Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Bale.
Mbappe himself was thrilled with the prospect of moving to Madrid, but his father stated that he would only allow his son to move to Spain if Real dispensed with one of their superstar forwards.
Real's board are said to have agreed that Bale would be the man to make way, and held out hope that long-term admirers United would enquire about the Wales megastar with a view to signing him.
However, despite plenty of speculation Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho seemingly opted to not pursue a big-money transfer for Bale's services - a decision that led to Real missing out on Mbappe.
The Monaco youth product instead held talks with PSG and, after a protracted transfer saga that dragged out over three months, moved to the French capital on Thursday.
This latest development will likely lead to Real's and United's frosty relationship continuing for some time, if the Mirror's report can be believed.