Man City are ‘shocked’ that Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that he was “close” to a move to the club before his transfer to Man Utd, according to reports.
The Red Devils brought Ronaldo back to Old Trafford in the summer of 2021 from Juventus for around €17m.
Man Utd finished sixth in his first season but the Portugal international knocked in 24 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions,
Ronaldo then spent most of the summer transfer window attempting to leave Old Trafford after Man Utd failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Erik ten Hag made it clear that Ronaldo was part of his plans for the season after he struggled to secure an exit route – but the Dutchman has used the 37-year-old sparingly this campaign.
His lack of playing time came to a head last month when Ronaldo refused to come off the bench in United’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham, leading to him being fined and made to train alone.
And now Ronaldo has been at the centre of attention again this week as he hit out at Ten Hag, Man Utd and other current and former people at the club.
Ronaldo also revealed that he came ‘close’ to joining the Red Devils’ arch-rivals Man City before intervention from former Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
In a controversial interview with Piers Morgan on Talk TV, Ronaldo said of a potential move to Man City: “Well, honestly, it was close. They spoke a lot and Guardiola said two weeks ago that they tried hard to have me.
“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’.
“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.”
And The Sun now claim Man City were ‘shocked’ at those claims and insist that they were ‘never serious about’ signing Ronaldo in 2021.
The report adds:
‘Pep Guardiola’s men briefly explored a move for the Portuguese legend after their move for Harry Kane fell through.
‘However, the champions felt Ronaldo’s account of events – in his explosive interview with Piers Morgan this week – was not reflective of what really happened.’
The Sun continues by saying that Man City are ‘not denying they showed an interest’ but suggestions he was “close” to joining have ‘raised a few eyebrows’.
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