Manchester United wasn’t Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-choice club claims transfer expert

Ronaldo confident ahead of his Old Trafford return: I am here to win

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Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo on transfer deadline day as the world-class forward returned to the club for a second spell. But Ronaldo apparently wanted to sign for Manchester City instead.

United chiefs shelled out just £12.8million to secure the homecoming of their former talisman from Juventus.

The announcement of his return created pandemonium in the north west as United supporters became exhilarated with one of the most exciting signings in the club’s history.

Ronaldo linked up with his new team-mates earlier this week and is expected to go straight into the Man Utd squad for their Premier League clash with Newcastle United on Saturday.

But, according to journalist Guillem Balague, the striker would have actually preferred to sign for United’s neighbours.

“Cristiano and [agent Jorge] Mendes negotiated with City because it was their favourite destination of the two,” Balague wrote on Twitter.

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“Pep saw CR7 [Ronaldo] scoring 40 plus goals taking into account the chances that his City create.

“Juve opened the doors for him. He had been looking for a buyer for two seasons, even though they denied it through fine media.

“It is something that had been discussed among European sports directors and even mentioned in the WhatsApp group of club presidents.

“But to sign for City, he [Guardiola] had to sell an offensive player.


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“City started making calls knowing that time was on them and that there were few options to find buyers for, for example, Silva, Jesus or Mahrez.

“Jorge Mendes and Ronaldo wanted to go to City above all else but there came a time when they had to prepare a plan B.

“United had not considered signing CR7 but when they found out that he was available they felt that only United could go [in pursuit of the player].

“United offered a better salary than City and less than what they received at Juve. CR7 was not at all clear about the return to Old Trafford but wanted to leave Juve.

“When it became clear that City were unable to sell at least one of their players in time, Mendes advised City that he would accept United’s offer.”

The news will come as a major blow to United fans, many of whom will have expected Ronaldo to pinpoint United as his preferred destination.

Either way, the Red Devils have their man and have built a squad which is capable of competing on all fronts this season.

And Ronaldo could well be the catalyst which ensures Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally wins his first piece of silverware as United boss.

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