An inside look into Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to turn down Manchester City in favour of a move to neighbours United this past summer has been provided online.
CR7 is back
The headline news at Old Trafford this summer of course came in the form of Ronaldo’s remarkable return.
On the back of a 12-year spell away from the club, United, upon hearing of the Portuguese’s eagerness to depart Italian giants Juventus, showcased little hesitance in swooping to bring their prodigal son back to England.
Ronaldo’s comeback, in turn, was made official late in August:
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 27, 2021
And to say that the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner has since gone about stealing the show as only he can would be something of an understatement.
All told, across eleven appearances back in the colours of the Red Devils, CR7 has racked up nine goals, including a brace on his 2nd debut, a crucial last-gasp winner during a Champions League meeting with Villarreal, and another double this past Tuesday, to secure a share of the spoils at Atalanta:
No way Ronaldo! 😱😱😱
How does he keep on doing this!
Such a clean volley to rescue Man Utd yet again! pic.twitter.com/UaVyRFQsy6
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 2, 2021
SAF crucial/Pep fumes
As alluded to above, however, had it not been for the late intervention of his former club, then Ronaldo could easily have instead been lighting up the stage on the blue half of Manchester this season.
This comes with the Portuguese having also been a firm summer target of Premier League champions Man City.
And now, an inside look into precisely how the battle for CR7’s services was ultimately won has been provided online.
As per a report from Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star, Manchester City actually expressed an interest in Ronaldo long before their cross-town neighbours.
In fact, it is suggested that the board at the Etihad had been in negotiations with the Portuguese’s agent, Jorge Mendes, for a full six weeks prior to his eventual move to Old Trafford.
Upon news being made public of Ronaldo’s desire for pastures new, though, United quickly sprung into life, backed with the blessing of club owners the Glazers.
Former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson was informed of the move on the part of those in a position of power at the Theatre of Dreams, and soon played his own key role in shifting Ronaldo’s focus back towards his former stomping ground.
After calling the phone of the then-Juventus star, Ferguson is said to have relaid a simple three-word message: ‘Don’t join City’.
Ronaldo, from here, advised Jorge Mendes to push through a return to Manchester United, with the transfer, in turn, having been completed within 72 hours.
Back at the Etihad, meanwhile, Pep Guardiola ‘struggled to contain his anger’, after being informed of his side’s failure to land Ronaldo just minutes before fielding questions from the media in a pre-Arsenal press conference.
And now, in less than 24 hours’ time, the Man City boss may well be forced to face up to ‘what could have been’ once more, as CR7 and United prepare to welcome their fiercest rivals to Old Trafford, for a Premier League derby showdown.
— Daily Star Sport (@DailyStar_Sport) November 4, 2021
This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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