Laurent Blanc has revealed that he held talks with Manchester United about becoming the club’s manager following the dismissal of David Moyes in 2014.
The Red Devils were in the market for a proven coach at the very highest level after abandoning an experiment with the man chosen to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson.
Moyes lasted a matter of months in that role, with United enduring a humbling fall from grace under his guidance.
Ryan Giggs was handed the reins on a caretaker basis in the wake of his departure, but an experienced option was sought to fill a permanent post.
World Cup winner Blanc, who had spent time at Old Trafford in his playing days, was among those considered.
He was in charge of Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain at the time and discussions did not get far before the decision was taken by United to appoint Louis van Gaal.
"I had a call from a director, I'd prefer not to say who, and some discussion," Blanc told The Times.
"But I was in Paris so it was very difficult for me to leave. We kept in touch but they went with Van Gaal in the end."
Blanc has continued to figure on United’s radar since being overlooked in 2014.
He was mooted as a potential option once again when Jose Mourinho was shown to the door at Old Trafford back in December.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ended up being the former star brought back to familiar surroundings and he has enjoyed an 11-game unbeaten start to his reign.
Blanc – who won 11 trophies during his time at PSG – may miss out on a role in Manchester when a definitive call is made this summer, but the Frenchman is eager to experience life in Premier League management.
He added: "Managing in England is a big ambition.
"I have big experience at Paris.
"It's difficult for me to go to another club in France. I want a different challenge in England, Spain or Italy. I played in those countries, I know them, so I keep going to games and I see what calls come in."
Blanc spent time with the likes of Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Inter and United over the course of a distinguished career which saw him retire in 2003 after two years at Old Trafford.