But just hours later centre-back Godin had signed a new contract on improved terms believed to be €7.5million a year at the Wanda Metropolitano.
As they cast around for last-minute additions - with the summer's transfer work only yielding Lee Grant, Fred and Diego Dalot so far - United have made a late move for Godin, according to Sky Sports News.
Supporters are starting to lose faith in Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly fell out of favour at the back-end of last season and Victor Lindelof has struggled in the Premier League.
According to Sky Sports, United are chasing a deal for the Uruguay global.
It seems Man Utd have also made an audacious attempt to sign Godin as ESPN are one of several outlets reporting they have made it clear to Atletico Madrid they are willing to meet the defender's £18m release clause.
"I'm not confident, I'm not confident and the market closes today so it is time at least for me to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed".