'We wanted to invest in a young team' – Napoli sporting director explains lack of Ronaldo interest

·2-min read

Napoli were not interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo in the recent transfer window due to their desire to build a younger side, according to sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli.

Ronaldo reportedly declared his intention to leave Manchester United after they missed out on Champions League qualification last season, but he failed to complete a transfer before the end of the window.

The likes of Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid ruled out a move for the 37-year-old Portuguese legend after being touted as potential destinations, while Napoli were also linked.

Ronaldo has only started one of United's six Premier League games this season, playing just 207 minutes of league football under Erik ten Hag.

Napoli, meanwhile, have made a bright start to their Serie A campaign despite losing the likes of Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens, and Giuntoli believes a move for Ronaldo would not have fitted with the club's transfer policy.

"During the transfer market we pretend to chat with everyone, and sometimes we do it for real," he said on Friday.

"But we wanted to invest in a young team."

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Napoli were also linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas after selling midfielder Fabian Ruiz to the French giants, but Giuntoli does not see that deal being revived.

"PSG were interested in Fabian, whom we had to sell, we could bring a high-level goalkeeper to Naples to work alongside [Alex] Meret. In the end, the operation was closed.

"They did not find an agreement on the salary with the player and we knew we had a binding ceiling that we do not breach for anyone."

Asked whether Navas would be targeted in January, he said: "No, we trust Meret. We are happy that he stayed and against Liverpool he had a great game. Enduring the pressure of the summer did him good."

Napoli remain unbeaten in Serie A this season and made a scintillating start to their Champions League campaign by thrashing Liverpool 4-1 on Wednesday.

But Luciano Spalletti's men suffered a blow when striker Victor Osimhen hobbled off shortly before the break, and the club have now confirmed the Nigeria international suffered a hamstring injury.

"As scheduled, Victor Osimhen underwent diagnostic tests this morning which revealed a second degree injury to his right hamstring," a Napoli statement read on Friday. "The striker had already started carrying out therapies yesterday."