Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Manchester United were offered the opportunity to hold talks with Joe Cole over the summer.
England midfielder Cole became one of the most high-profile free agents of recent years when he was not offered a new contract by Chelsea at the end of last season.
He was linked with several of Chelsea's Premier League rivals, with North London foes Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur rumoured to be interested.
At one stage, United were purported to be favourites to capture the 28-year-old amid reports Ferguson was keen to add another creative influence to his squad.
However, Cole eventually signed a four-year contract at United's fierce rivals Liverpool and Ferguson admits it would have been 'complicated' to get involved in the transfer chase.
"We were approached by Joe Cole's agent at one point, but we didn't enter into it at all," said Ferguson.
"It was complicated to get involved in that."
Cole is in line to face United on Sunday as he returns from a Premier League suspension to be included in Liverpool's squad for the trip to Old Trafford.
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