But Mourinho's hopes were dashed after he was was told the Uruguayan global has agreed a new deal with Atletico Madrid.
The Uruguayan centre-half would have been able to move for just £17.5 million this summer and it's easy to see why Jose Mourinho viewed him as a short-term solution to the problem in the heart of the Red Devils' back four.
Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward and head of corporate development Matt Judge are both at the club's Carrington training complex this morning as they try to deliver a late signing for Jose Mourinho.More news: Trump tells attorney general to end Russian Federation probe
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In their search for a center-back, Manchester United have reached Madrid and have reportedly asked about the availability of Atletico Madrid captain, Diego Godin.
Independent.ie understands that the approach for the player was speculative from United, with suggestions that the Old Trafford club could trigger a release clause in Godin's contract irrelevant as the player has made it clear he has no intention of leaving Atletico Madrid this summer. It is time for me to stop thinking about the market.
"So I will have to focus on the players I have".
But Mourinho told reporters at the beginning of deadline day that he didn't anticipate any new arrivals at Old Trafford. However, the 121-time capped Uruguayan worldwide feels settled in the Spanish capital and enjoys an excellent relationship with his current boss Simeone, which has led to him rejecting the English giants' overtures.