It took Sir Alex Ferguson just 20 seconds to end Manchester City’s hopes of signing Cristiano Ronaldo in a stormy transfer saga that saw a jolt in the final days of the summer window.
Ronaldo had decided to leave Juventus and City would lead the race for his signature, as he looked to win over one of the game’s most iconic stars and an impressive opponent from their cross-city rivals.
After talks between both clubs and Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, there was confidence that a £25m deal could be completed.
But, as MEN reported at the time, FA chiefs were taken aback when it emerged that Manchester United’s neighbors had stolen Ronaldo from under the noses – in one of the most stunning transfers in Premier League history.
As reported by the Daily Star, In a short phone call Fergie had with Ronaldo, the former United boss ordered him not to go to City under any circumstances.
“Don’t join City” Fergie told Ronaldo before hanging up – and the coded message made clear to Ronaldo how desperate he was to lure him back to Old Trafford.
Just a few days later, Ronaldo completed his move to United after agreeing a two-year deal that would make him the highest-paid star in Premier League history.
Ronaldo faces City tomorrow (Saturday) when Pep Guardiola’s men travel to Old Trafford in what promises to be another explosive derby showdown between the two arch-rivals.
The 36-year-old has been a revelation this season, stealing nine goals in 11 games to help keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a job and leave United on the cusp of reaching the Champions League knockout stages.
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