Manchester United had expressed interest in defender Nathan Ake before rivals beat them to his signature.
Ake moved to Manchester City on Wednesday night from Bournemouth in a deal worth £41m.
The Red Devils are in the market for a new centre-back and had zeroed in on the English defender as he fit the profile they were looking for.
However, it is understood that Ake's price scared away Manchester United as they have devoted their transfer budget to snapping up Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
They had also hoped to offload Marcos Rojo to raise funds for a new centre-back but they haven't found a suitable buyer yet.
Of the current Premier League defenders aged 25 or under, only Hector Bellerin and Luke Shaw have racked up more top-flight appearances than Ake.