Former Juventus chief Gianni Di Marzio claims that Manchester United almost missed out on signing Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2003.
The Portuguese superstar arrived as David Beckham’s Old Trafford replacement 14 years ago and spent six fruitful seasons at the club before joining Real Madrid for £80million back in 2009.
However, according to Di Marzio it was Juve who almost clinched a deal for the forward, only for old striker Marcelo Salas to scupper the switch.
“I called my club and told them I’d seen someone who would be the best player in the world, obviously after Maradona,” Di Marzio told Spanish newspaper Marca.
“I negotiated and brought Cristiano over to Turin in 2002 to sign for Juve, but Salas didn’t accept the terms of the swap deal.
“For just a few million euros, Salas didn’t want to leave and so Juventus lost out on Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Ronaldo has since been linked with a return to United but remains Real’s talisman, having scored 14 league goals this season as they sit at the top of the La Liga table.