There was almost a glitch in the matrix in the last week of the summer transfer window as Cristiano Ronaldo was inching closer and closer to signing a deal with Manchester City.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of Manchester United’s all-time great players, move to the Etihad Stadium would have sent shockwaves around European football – however, it was not meant to be.
City looked set to seal a sensational transfer for Ronaldo, but United figures swooped in at the last minute to persuade him to return to Old Trafford after 12 years.
Manchester United hijacked the move to bring their legend back to Old Trafford but Paul Merson says they didn’t really want him.
In a column he wrote for the Daily Star, Merson said: “Is this about being successful or is it about making money off Ronaldo’s name?
“Juventus bought Ronaldo to win them the Champions League. They never looked like winning it – and didn’t even win Serie A last season. People say ‘oh, he scored more goals than Romelu Lukaku’. Yeah but who won the league?
“Call me a pessimist but I don’t think United would even have tried to sign Ronaldo if Manchester City hadn’t come in for him first. They just didn’t want him going to City.
“If United wanted Ronaldo so badly why weren’t they on the phone to Juventus all summer trying to do it? They weren’t first in line. City were.”
The Portuguese superstar is expected to make his second debut for United against Newcastle at Old Trafford on September 11, where he will wear the number 7 shirt once again.