Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to become a Man City player. Then Sir Alex Ferguson got in touch.
Welcome (back) to Manchester
The final swansong of Cristiano Ronaldo will take place in Manchester – a statement that wouldn’t have surprised most, until one heard which half he was planning on going to.
While the rumours had started weeks before his move, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri confirmed on Thursday, 26 August 2021, that Ronaldo had asked to leave the club immediately. Leading journalists and news outlets had gotten wind of a potential move to Manchester City and these stories were well on there way to being true. Ironically it was this very news that triggered Manchester United and its past and present players and managers into action.
Manchester United swooped in to sign Ronaldo on Friday the 27th of August. Reportedly it was a call from Sir Alex Ferguson that finally changed the mind of the player.
Why did Ronaldo leave Juventus?
The separation was mutual. With one year remaining on his contract, Ronaldo was looking for his next big deal – a deal that could be one of the last he gets to make as a commodity in the transfer market worth investing in.
Just a week before, Ronaldo had put out a long post on his Instagram asking for people to respect his situation. The post was in response to stories that alleged that Real Madrid didn’t consider resigning their greatest goal scorer. For Juventus, it is getting rid of a superstar’s wages that were putting pressure on their finances post COVID-19.
The weeks before had seen multiple clubs’ names thrown into the Ronaldo sweepstakes. But the loudest noise had emanated out of Manchester City. A failed pursuit for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane meant that Pep Guardiola was looking to begin this season without the leading frontman he has desired after the departure of club legend Sergio Augero.
And while prospects like Erling Haaland weren’t available this season, one could see City’s logic in taking Ronaldo away from Juventus. The English club reached the Champions League final last season and an instant impact player like Ronaldo could change everything for the better, while giving the club a whole year to bring the next great striker available on the market.
How did Manchester United swoop in for Ronaldo?
According to reports in various media outlets, it reportedly took a combination of calls and messages from Sir Alex Ferguson, Bruno Fernandes and ex-Manchester United players to convince Ronaldo to return to United. Once that happened, it was only a matter of time before the Portuguese captain made up his mind to return to Old Trafford.
There is no doubt that will be a decision Manchester United made out of emotion to bring back a player with a sizable legacy at the club. But does the decision help on the football side of matters? Time will tell…
- Club From: Juventus
- Club To: Manchester United
- Transfer Fee: £19.4m (£12.8m paid over 5 years with another £6.4m in achievable bonuses)
- Contract Length: 2 years with option of a another 1
- Wage: £385,000 a week
- Shirt Number: 7