Ronaldo wanted to join Serie A last year: Former Milan director
What's the story?
Marco Fassone, the former AC Milan Managing Director, has claimed in a recent interview that former Rossoneri owner Yonghong Li wanted to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer of 2017.
Talking to Il Sole24Ore, Fassone said that the player himself wanted to leave the Santiago Bernabeu in favour of a move to the Serie A giants.
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Marco Fassone, who had previously held directorial positions at Juventus and Napoli, was removed from the post of AC Milan's CEO this summer.
Mr. Li had reportedly pressed Fassone into landing the Portuguese superstar at the club, because he wanted to make a huge impact on the Chinese market by securing the player.
Yonghong Li, Fassone and most of the Board members of club were removed in July following problems relating to UEFA’s financial fair play regulations at the end of last season.
The heart of the matter
Fassone revealed in the interview that to bring Ronaldo to San Siro was Li's dream.
He also accepted that he went as far as meeting with Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes to discuss the player's availability and costs in the summer of 2017.
"Yes, Mr. Li wanted Ronaldo because he believed he had great strength on the Chinese market."
"The player wanted to leave Madrid. We met in July 2017 with his attorney Mendes, to check the costs and availability of the player."
However, the then CEO realised that Milan didn't have the financial ability to afford a player like that and the deal fell apart.
Later, he had to persuade Mr. Li to let go of his dream, because Ronaldo was too expensive.
"I convinced Li to end his dream because Ronaldo was too expensive."
Though they failed in the bid to land the 5-time Ballon d'Or winner, they went on to spend €191.98 million that summer on new arrivals. (via transfermarkt)
Ronaldo won the Champions League again with Los Blancos this year, and ended the season as the competition's top goal-scorer for the third year running.
He moved to Serie A this summer with Juventus for €112 million.
Ronaldo has settled well in Italy and is already the leading goalscorer for I Bianconeri with 8 goals in 12 appearances.
AC Milan are looking strong under new manager Gattuso and they face fourth placed Lazio in their Serie A fixture on Sunday.