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."
|All Blacks winger Savea confirms Toulon switch|
|Free Fall available for France after red card rescinded|
|South Korea can progress from wide-open group, says Park Ji-sung|
|Gordon called up by Wallabies to replace injured Genia|
|Germany can still win World Cup, insists Werner|
|Man United & Real Madrid talk not affecting Milinkovic-Savic|
|Out-of-contract Ruiz focused on Costa Rica|
|Southgate will not bombard England with last-minute instructions|
|Muller: Germany under extreme pressure|
|Rangers score four runs in ninth to pick up walk-off win over Rockies|
|U.S. Open champion Koepka happy to continue being ´overlooked´|
|Pogba: I´m the most criticised player in the world|
|Maradona: Sampaoli´s game plan against Iceland was a disgrace|
|De Gea will bounce back from error – Marchena|
|Slater named for Maroons return|
|Woods, Faldo, Harrington and Koepka – U.S. Open champion joins fine club after successful defence|
|Fleetwood positive despite falling short at U.S. Open|
|Jesus: I had no reason to play for a penalty|
|Hernandez admits to exaggerating fouls against Australia|
|Koepka says winning two U.S. Opens not even in his ´wildest dreams´|
|Hernandez: Griezmann an idol at Atletico|
|Sri Lanka take charge despite Gabriel exploits|
|U.S. Open final-round timeline: How clinical Koepka kept his crown|
|Koepka fights off challengers to successfully defend U.S. Open title|
|´Aching´ Neymar urges referees to intervene|
|BREAKING NEWS: Koepka holds on to defend U.S. Open title|
|Lozano goal causes artificial earthquake in Mexico|
|Djokovic: Mental battle will be Murray´s biggest|
|Hummels criticises Germany tactics in Mexico loss|
|Brazil the latest favourites to stumble, but Tite and Neymar won´t panic|
|Magnificent Fleetwood matches U.S. Open record with closing 63|
|Brazil 1 Switzerland 1: Zuber pegs back below-par Selecao|
|Warrington hold off Wakefield fightback, Tigers held despite Hitchcox heroics|
|Germany follow trend of poor starts for World Cup champions|
|Reed on the charge as U.S. Open race hots up|
|Milinkovic-Savic can play for any team in Europe, says Crespo|
|Southgate keen to unleash his bold new England|
|Konta fumes as Barty takes Nottingham title|
|Kante hails Pogba´s match-winning contribution|
|Germany struggle with generation gap|
|Neymar to make first competitive start since February in Brazil´s World Cup opener|
|Kane gunning for Ronaldo hat-trick heroics in England opener|
|Balotelli would fit in at Marseille - Raiola|
|Captain Ki happy to get tough on South Korea|
|Senegal call up Mbengue with Ciss ruled out|
|Mickelson celebrates at scene of Saturday meltdown|
|Germany 0 Mexico 1: Lozano stuns woeful reigning champions|
|Chandimal to face hearing after pleading not guilty to ball tampering|
|Griezmann ´must do more´, says Deschamps|
|Gasquet shows his class on grass to end Chardy´s chances|
|Courtois: Belgium outsiders not World Cup favourites|
|You can´t compare Ronaldo and Messi – Adrien Silva|
|Kiwis name seven uncapped players for England Test|
|Lorenzo tells critics: Remember MotoGP wins next time I struggle|
|Maaloul singles out ´future of English football´ Alli as main threat|
|Poland v Senegal: Nawalka waits on Glik|
|All Blacks draft in Riccitelli and Hemopo, Barrett not risked for third Test|
|Palermo to appeal play-off result after ´illegal game´|
|Once a year is not enough! - Alonso loved Le Mans bow|
|Colombia v Japan: Kawashima eager to right the wrongs of 2014|
|Russia v Egypt: Salah poised to derail hosts´ juggernaut|
|South Korea swapping kit numbers to confuse Sweden|
|Neuer, Ozil start for Germany in World Cup opener|
|Costa Rica and Serbia serve up plenty of the spectacular in sunny Samara|
|Alonso edges closer to ´Triple Crown´ with Le Mans glory|
|Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1: Kolarov stunner seals points|
|Belgium are better than Argentina – Gomez and Panama ignoring Iceland result|
|Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar would keep the goal - Evra defends Pogba|
|Two in a row for dominant Lorenzo in Barcelona|
|Maradona denies racism claim|