The England FA insists they never made an offer to Russia coach Guus Hiddink as they sought to replace Sven Goran Eriksson as national team boss.
While the FA acknowledge the approach Hiddink has spoken of, they have made it clear the contact - from a senior official - was only at the very beginning of the recruitment drive.
They insist it was to no greater or lesser degree than the contact made with other possible candidates, including Sam Allardyce, Alan Curbishley, Luis Felipe Scolari, Fabio Capello, Martin O'Neill, plus McClaren - who eventually landed the job.
Indeed, all discussions were terminated once Hiddink's forthright agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen, a man the FA struggled to have any purposeful relationship with, informed them the former South Korea coach was not interested in being interviewed.
Hiddink has since claimed he had already given his word to the Russian Federation that he would take that job once his own World Cup commitments were over.
"Following on from Guus Hiddink's comments today we feel we should make it clear that he was never offered the job, nor was there any suggestion that he would be," said an FA spokesman.
"There was a conversation with his agent to see if there was any interest in him becoming part of the recruitment process, in the same way that many other managers were approached in a process which eventually led to us appointing Steve McClaren.
"It was made clear to us the second time we spoke to his agent that he would not be prepared to go through any interview process. Therefore, he was instantly ruled out."