It’s easily the transfer story of the summer so far; Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, after allowing rumours to swirl of his unhappiness at Real Madrid to swirl for numerours summers, has finally left the Spanish capital and will shortly call reigning Serie A champions Juventus his next home. The Portuguese captain, 33, spent nine years at Real, and has repeatedly been linked with a move back to Manchester United, where he spent six successful years before moving to Spain in 2009. Ronaldo famously suggested after May’s Champions League final that he wanted to leave the club having helped to guide Real to its third-successive European Cup triumph, and many expected United to be dragged into the equation regarding the player’s future again.
To everyone’s surprise, that hasn’t happened, and Spanish journalist Guillem Balague believes he knows why.
“Juventus is the only offer that Real Madrid has got. The only one,” said Balague on his YouTube channel in quotes carried by GiveMeSport. “Nobody else came, even though PSG and Manchester United were asked this summer and last summer. They always said no. Many reasons for it of course, it changes the whole finances of the club. Some calculations say it will be €400m for Juventus between the transfer and the wages. Jorge Mendes is even believed to have called Manchester United, only to receive a categorical ‘no.'”
It’s surprising to hear United took such a strong stance when it came to resigning Ronaldo, especially as he fits the the club’s preferred profile in terms of his global appeal. Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has frequently wished to bring in players of such stature, so the club’s refusal to bring him back to Old Trafford could presumably be down to Ronaldo’s frequent attempts to encourage interest from United, only to then sign a new deal at Real on improved terms. Perhaps United simply didn’t fancy the deal as a result.