United Boss Insists He Was Never Asked About Ronaldo
Re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo was never an option put to Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho by the club’s board this summer.
Ronaldo left Real Madrid after nine awarding-winning years at the Bernabeu. The Portugal international moved to Juventus in a transfer worth over £100million.
Reports over the weekend suggested that Mourinho had advised the Manchester United board not to sign Ronaldo if given the chance. But speaking after United defeated 2-0 at Burnley on Sunday, Mourinho insisted that the option of signing Ronaldo was never put to him.
“Cristiano was never on my table to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Cristiano to come to us. It was never on the table.”
Ronaldo’s age was always going to be an issue for United. His age – he is now 33 – his £500,000-a-week wages, plus the size of his transfer fee meant the deal was always going to be costly for a commercially-minded outfit such as United. The club rarely sign players over the age of 30 and have had mixed results with the exceptions to that rule. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a one-season wonder but he came without a transfer fee and only signed one-year deals. Bastian Schweinsteiger arrived injured and never really showed his form from his time at Bayern Munich.
Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford next month when United take on Juventus in a Champions League group match. Mourinho believes that the signing of the Portugese superstar shows Juventus are stepping up their pursuit of a Champions League title.
“Juventus is one of the teams in Europe that invested to win the Champions League because they don’t need to invest to win the Scudetto. They win the Scudetto for six or seven years,” said the United boss.
“The objective is clearly to win the Champions League, which they were close twice when they reached the final, so they are a top team in Europe that made one of the biggest spending – I think after Liverpool it must be them.
“Fantastic players – Cristiano, [Emre] Can and [Leonardo] Bonucci. Absolutely top. But they are going to have two very difficult matches against us.”
Godin Jet Had To Be Cancelled
Meanwhile, Manchester United were reported to have made a private jet available for Diego Godin when they put in a late bid for the Uruguay international defender last month.
United offered to pay Godin’s £18million release fee to Atletico Madrid and hired the private jet to pick up Godin from his holiday home on the island of Sardinia. But Godin’s agent was using United’s interested to get a better contract out of Atletico. The deal collapsed and the private jet was cancelled.
Manchester United may have better luck with a new deal for goalkeeper David De Gea. Reports today claim he is ready to sign a £350,000-a-week contract with the club having held out for an increase over the £200,000 a week initially on offer.