Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he was close to joining Manchester City but followed his “heart” by rejoining Manchester United instead.
In his explosive Talk TV interview, the Portugal forward expanded on Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice to him to snub City and return to Old Trafford.
“Well, honestly, it was close,” he said. “But as you know, my history in Manchester United, your heart, you’re feeling the way that you did before, makes the difference. And of course, as well, Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I think it was the key. It was the difference in that moment, but I cannot be loyal if I will, 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 ‘it’s impossible for you to come to Manchester City’. And I say ‘OK, boss’.
“So I took the decisions and I repeat, I was with conscience that it was a good decision.”
Ronaldo’s return has since turned sour and in previous excerpts of the interview, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner revealed he did not respect manager Erik ten Hag and claimed a number of individuals at United were trying to force him out of the club.
Solskjaer deserved more time
The 37-year-old had also criticised the club’s owners and the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim boss after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“I love Solskjaer. I think he was a top person, because what I keep inside my heart, it’s the heart of the persons’. And Ole for me, is a top person.
Manchester United have removed a mural containing Cristiano Ronaldo’s image from Old Trafford 🏟️ pic.twitter.com/ktpqVXawlJ
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 16, 2022
“It’s hard to assume (the role) after Sir Alex Ferguson. But I think he did a good job for sure.
“You need much more time. But I never doubt that you’re going to be a good coach in the future. But it was a good experience. I was so pleased to work with him even for a short period.”
Ronaldo is currently training with Portugal ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, but thoughts have already turned to who could replace him.
There has been wild speculation that PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe could head to Old Trafford. However, latest reports suggest United are willing to spend £60million on a Napoli forward instead.
The Red Devils are not back in action again until December 21 when they host Burnley in the Carabao Cup last 16.