The Real Madrid star was the subject of interest from top European clubs in the summer after a testing first season in the Spanish capital.
However Modric has now revealed that during two summers of speculation, Carlo Ancelotti attempted to sign him on two occasions, first for Chelsea and then for Paris St Germain.
“Ancelotti wanted me. A year ago in PSG and 2011 in Chelsea,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“But then Andre Villas-Boas came and Tottenham did not want to give me up.
“I also knew of the interest of the United and even if the transfer did not materialise, the public appreciation of a great like Sir Alex is a big pride for me.”
New Manchester United manager David Moyes was also linked with a move for Modric in the summer, but a bid never materialized.
Real Madrid wanted to hang onto the Croatian – who is now a regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield – and Moyes was forced to turn his attentions to Maraoune Fellaini, who he signed for £27.5million.