City confirmed the capture of Torres last May, but the winger had interest from rival Premier League clubs.
Spanish outlet AS claim United held early talks with Torres after identifying the 20-year-old as an alternative to Jadon Sancho.
United knew from the start of the transfer window that prizing Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund would be a big ask and Torres represented an excellent alternative at an affordable price.
With just a year left on his deal at Valencia, City were able to snap Torres up for just £20.8million and tie him down to a five-year deal.
United had a similar offer in mind and moved early for the forward, but Torres was ultimately more convinced by the project presented to him by Pep Guardiola’s side, rather than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s.
Torres admitted when he joined City that the prospect of playing under Guardiola was a massive draw for him.
He said: ‘I am so happy to be joining City. Every player wants to be involved in attacking teams and Manchester City are one of the most attacking in world football.
‘Pep (Guardiola) encourages a really open, aggressive style, which I love, and he is a manager with a proven track record of improving players.
‘To have him overseeing my development is a dream.
United’s hunt for a new forward goes on, with Dortmund so far refusing to budge on their massive asking price.
The Red Devils are hopeful Dortmund might drop their demands closer to the transfer deadline on 5 October.