Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri claims he turned down the chance to succeed Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid before Julen Lopetegui was appointed at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Last month, Zidane resigned from his post just five days after guiding Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League crown, bringing an end to a short but extremely successful two-and-a-half-year spell.
It was announced on Tuesday that Spain coach Lopetegui had agreed terms on a three-year deal with the European champions and was due to take over after the World Cup, only for the Royal Spanish Football Federation to dismiss the 51-year-old 24 hours later.
Fernando Hierro will instead guide La Roja at the finals in Russia, but the story could have been very different had Allegri - who recently led Juve to their fourth straight Serie A title under his stewardship and seventh overall - accepted the offer from Madrid president Florentino Perez.
La vittoria ha sempre sapori diversi: i ragazzi se la sono meritata giorno dopo giorno, partita dopo partita. CAMPIONI! pic.twitter.com/UJOfulJeuH— Massimiliano Allegri (@OfficialAllegri) May 13, 2018
When asked if he had rejected Madrid, Allegri told Sky Sport Italia: "Let's say I said yes to Juventus.
"I spoke to the [Madrid] president once, and I said that out of respect for the [Juve] president [Andrea Agnelli], to whom I'd given my word, and Juventus, I'd be staying at Juventus.
"It was a decision I'd already taken, and even if other things can happen in life I'd say that I made the decision to stay at Juventus and respected what I'd said, without considering other options.
"I have to thank the Real Madrid president, though, for giving me the chance to go there."
Allegri also hinted that he had been contacted by Chelsea regarding the possibility of replacing Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.
"Let's say that the decision to stay at Juventus had already been taken, while thanking the ones who sought me out," he said.
"I've always said that the president will be the first to know if I want to leave, and the president will have to tell me if he wants to make a change."
|Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol were great teachers, says new Barcelona captain Messi|
|Moses retires from international football|
|Goals, assists, set-pieces - The stats that show De Bruyne is almost irreplaceable for City|
|Bergeron wins mammoth 24-man U.S. Amateur play-off|
|Hart to Burnley "not rocket science", says Dyche|
|Leipzig, Schalke reject Rudy transfer rumours|
|Yedlin knee injury not serious, Newcastle confirm|
|Bartomeu satisfied with Barcelona squad amid Pogba links|
|Kevin De Bruyne suffers knee injury|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger in concussion protocol|
|Kehrer to PSG not complete, say Schalke|
|Hopoate handed 10-year ban from NSWRL|
|Is this worth it? Injuries prompted Te´o to consider future|
|Croatia hero Subasic retires from international football|
|Iniesta makes it two in two for Vissel Kobe|
|Chelsea send out defensive duo on loan|
|Zaha 2023: Palace star means more than goals|
|De Jong set for Ajax stay despite Barcelona interest|
|Serena ´still at the very beginning´ of comeback|
|Ajax can benefit from Mourinho approach - Blind|
|Foley not convinced by reports All Blacks will drop Barrett|
|Zaha signs Crystal Palace extension|
|Burnley midfielder O´Neill makes A-League loan move|
|Godin yet to renew with Atletico Madrid amid transfer interest|
|Federer ´feeling better every day´ after Wimbledon disappointment|
|Kante comfortable with surprise new Chelsea role|
|Rugby Championship 2018: The numbers behind New Zealand´s dominance|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Bale ready to be Madrid´s shining light after five years in Ronaldo´s shadow|
|Rodgers unimpressed by absence of ´fit´ Boyata|
|Braves´ Acuna Jr. has arrived as a true MLB star|
|LA Galaxy 2 Colorado Rapids 2: Jackson´s deflected strike sees spoils shared|
|Victory offer postponed retirement, says Honda|
|Kyrgios forgets tennis shoes, Federer back in business|
|Williams knocked out as Garcia and Pliskova advance in Ohio|
|Kvitova sees off Serena in Cincinnati classic|
|Federer dispatches Gojowczyk in Cincinnati|
|Stead succeeds Hesson as New Zealand coach|
|Duminy encouraged despite South Africa´s mixed results|
|Thiem withdraws from Cincinnati Masters|
|Edwards joins Ospreys in consultancy role|
|Former Arsenal and Barcelona player Song joins Sion|
|I´m very happy with what I have - Spalletti not desperate for Modric|
|Roethlisberger evaluated for concussion after practice|
|Brady ´absolutely´ expects to face Eagles|
|Rugby Championship 2018: Reasons for optimism and concern for Australia|
|Wentz ´gonna be close´ for Eagles opener|
|Cleveland ´victory fridges´ to unlock beer if Browns finally win|
|England´s Watson suffers injury setback|
|Mariners reinstate Cano after 80-game suspension|
|AEK Athens 2 Celtic 1 (3-2 agg): Rodgers´ men dumped out of Champions League|
|Alonso to leave F1: Paddock reacts to Spaniard´s exit|
|Roma sign midfielder N´Zonzi from Sevilla|
|Alonso to leave F1: Who will replace Fernando at McLaren?|
|Extraordinary Zidane is in Real Madrid´s past - Lopetegui|
|Alonso to leave F1: Then and now - how the grid, teams and calendar have changed since 2001|
|Wawrinka and Azarenka receive US Open wildcards|
|Parma sign Napoli pair Inglese and Grassi on loan|
|Sandakan castles Proteas before Sri Lanka squeeze home|
|Ronaldo sale won´t stop Real Madrid winning - Ramos|
|Predators sign Ryan Ellis to eight-year, $50M contract|
|Curran, Woakes, Rashid - who makes way for Stokes in England´s Test XI?|
|Griezmann well positioned for Ballon d´Or, says Simeone|
|Criscito: I was on Genoa bridge shortly before collapse|
|Alonso to leave F1: How the Spaniard´s numbers stack up to the greats|
|Rookie LB Roquan Smith finally signs Bears contract|
|De Villiers enjoying relief from ´unbearable´ Proteas pressure|
|Fernando Alonso to leave F1|
|Spalletti extends Inter contract|
|Godin, Koke, Griezmann and Juanfran named Atletico Madrid captains|
|Ronaldo out of hospital after illness|