The Mirror's David McDonnell wrote:
Manchester United failed in a bid to take Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao on a season-long loan at the 11th hour last night - compounding the pain of their failed bid for Leighton Baines.
United boss David Moyes had hoped to pull off a major coup by capturing Portugal international Coentrao, but the Spanish giants have reportedly failed to rubber stamp the deal and the full-back will remain in Madrid.
BBC's David Ornstein confirms that report, while BBC's Ben Smith adds some details as to what exactly went wrong on what seemed like a done deal earlier in the day:
#MUFC did submit Coentrao papers to PL before 11pm. BUT both clubs then had to ratify move using Fifa TMS system.— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) September 2, 2013
Coentrao was an intriguing target who had seemingly fallen out of Carlo Ancelotti's favor, appearing in zero of the Merengues' first three La Liga matches.
Last season, the other Portugal international from Real Madrid who plays down the left side made 17 La Liga appearances, totaling 71 clearances, 32 interceptions and 10 blocks, per Squawka.
However, the left-back also has plenty of talent moving forward, as he created 12 chances, completed 84 percent of his passes and finished more than one successful "take on" per match.
At the very least, the 25-year-old's versatility, pace and dribbling ability would have made him a solid cover at the back for 32-year-old Patrice Evra—as well as a potential future option should his loan turn into a permanent deal next summer.
Manchester United missing out on Coentrao is...
Nevertheless, this isn't the biggest loss for the Red Devils.
Coentrao would have provided depth, sure, but Evra has looked extremely solid to start the season, averaging 1.7 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 1.7 key passes per contest. Aside from the coincidence with the number 1.7, he has been reliable on both sides of the pitch, while serving as United's best aerial threat (12 out of 16 duels won).
Moreover, with the addition of Marouane Fellaini, it's not as though Manchester United walked away from Monday's wild transfer deadline empty-handed.