Cristiano Ronaldo explains why his move to Arsenal failed to materialise
What's the story?
During a recent interview with Portuguese TV station TVI, Cristiano Ronaldo explained how he signed for Manchester United instead of Arsenal. The Juventus forward also revealed that he had a chat with Arsene Wenger before he moved to England.
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Cristiano Ronaldo was signed by Manchester United in the summer of 2003. Through his time at Old Trafford, the Portugal international transformed himself from a flashy winger into a prolific goalscorer. In his six seasons with the Red Devils, Ronaldo managed to score 84 goals in 196 appearances.
Despite Arsenal's interest in the player, Sir Alex Ferguson accelerated the talks, signing Cristiano Ronaldo after watching him torment the likes of Gary Neville and John O'Shea during a friendly against Sporting CP.
The heart of the matter
Arsene Wenger, who missed out on the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, and N'Golo Kante, was said to be keen on luring Cristiano Ronaldo to Arsenal. The French tactician's interest has been confirmed by Ronaldo himself.
In a chat with TVI, Ronaldo said (quote via Standard Sport):
"There had been contacts with so many other teams, Valencia for example were one of them."
“I met with Arsene Wenger and was about to go to Arsenal. I talked to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter too but after the friendly against Manchester United, who were already interested, they became even more interested and they sped up negotiations and signed me.”
Unai Emery has started his second season as the Arsenal boss. In a bid to improve from last year's fifth-place finish in the Premier League, the Gunners travel to Merseyside for a league clash against the European champions, Liverpool, on Saturday.
Also, Cristiano Ronaldo is working on his fitness ahead of Juventus' first Serie A match of the 2019/20 campaign against Parma.