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New details reveal just how close Cristiano Ronaldo came to joining Manchester City last summer

Rory O'Callaghan

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New details reveal just how close Cristiano Ronaldo came to joining Manchester City last summer

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed just how close Cristiano Ronaldo came to joining Manchester City last summer before his return to Manchester United.

City entered into negotiations to sign Ronaldo last year while he was still at Italian side Juventus.

But a shock move to the Etihad would fail to materialise, with Ronaldo instead rejoining United on a two-year deal.

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Despite some reports at the time claiming Ronaldo was on the verge of signing for City, Romano says the deal was, in fact, much further away from being completed.

"As you'll remember last summer, there were talks over a surprise move for Cristiano Ronaldo to join Manchester City," wrote Romano, in his column for CaughtOffside.

"Still, it was never 100 per cent approved by the board or by the technical staff at City.

"There were also some issues at Ronaldo's end with his agent Jorge Mendes, so the deal collapsed, even though Juventus were happy to accept the move.

Ronaldo was in talks to join Manchester City before his return to Manchester United (Image: Alamy)
Ronaldo was in talks to join Manchester City before his return to Manchester United (Image: Alamy)

"In the end, United appeared on the scene and Ronaldo was happy to join them as soon as their interest became apparent."

Ronaldo went on to score 24 goals in 38 games in his first season back at Old Trafford.

But, following United's failure to qualify for the Champions League, Ronaldo handed in a transfer request this summer in an attempt to force through a move elsewhere.

Despite his agent Mendes holding talks with several clubs, Ronaldo was unable to find a suitable offer and would instead remain at United for the second year of his deal.

He signed a two-year deal with United instead of joining City (Image: Alamy)
He signed a two-year deal with United instead of joining City (Image: Alamy)

He has had to make do with a bit-part role under new manager Erik ten Hag this season, with the Portuguese star losing his guaranteed starting place up front.

As a result, he has managed just one goal this term – a penalty against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League.

Ronaldo will no doubt be hoping to add to that tally when United face City in their first game after the international break.

Ten Hag's side travel to face the reigning Premier League champions at the Etihad on Sunday and will move to within two points of their rivals if they win away from home.

SPORTbible Stories is the brand-new podcast from the SPORT team at LADbible. The latest episode features a chat with WWE legend Triple H who opens up on his long in-ring career, his rivalry with The Rock during WWE's Attitude Era and Logan Paul's fledgling wrestling career. You can watch the episode here.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester City, Manchester United, Football, Premier League, Transfers

Rory O'Callaghan
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