Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that he was “close” to moving to Manchester City last summer but Sir Alex Ferguson’s intervention saw him choose Manchester United instead.
Ronaldo also said other clubs were interested in signing him from Juventus in 2021 but the 37-year-old followed “his heart” and rejoined United, despite them not initially being in the running for him.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner also said he did not respect manager Erik ten Hag and claimed a number of individuals at United were trying to force him out of the club, in an interview with Piers Morgan on Talk TV.
Ronaldo also criticised United for their lack of investment in the 13 years since his departure, questioned the appointment of former interim manager Ralph Rangnick and the attitude of young players.
“Well, honestly, it [moving to City] was close. They spoke a lot and Guardiola said two weeks ago that they tried hard to have me.” Ronaldo said. “But, as you know, my history is in Manchester United. Your heart, you’re feeling the way you did before, and it made the difference. And of course, as well, Sir Alex Ferguson. It was a conscious decision because the heart speaks loud in that moment.
“I think it [speaking with Ferguson] was the key. I wouldn’t say that Manchester City wasn’t close. But I think, I did [make] a conscious decision. I don’t regret at some point.
“And as you mentioned before, Sir Alex Ferguson was the key. I spoke with him… He said to me that, ‘It’s impossible for you to come to Manchester City’. And I said ‘OK, Boss’.
“So I took the decisions and I repeat: I was with conscience that it was a good decision.
“It was a good moment, nobody expected it. Things changed around in 72 hours. You plan or they spoke, not only Man City but other clubs too. Manchester United wasn’t part of those teams but it surprised everybody, even me.”
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