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Manchester United’s players ‘stepped in’ to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to reject a move to Manchester City.
The Portuguese superstar, who won three Premier League titles and a Champions League at Old Trafford, has completed a return after 12 years away.
And they have moved swiftly as 24 hours earlier, it seemed that their former No.7 would be heading to their rivals on the other side of the city.
But ESPN have reported that United’s recruitment team required a bit of help from the current crop of stars to convince Ronaldo.
The club’s negotiations went directly to the 36-year-old’s agent Jorge Mendes, with the Glazers prepared to offer a two-year contract.
His client, though, ‘still favoured’ a transfer to the blue side of Manchester, having spoken with manager Pep Guardiola on the phone.
But the report states the some of his former team-mates ‘told Ronaldo in clear terms’ that his part in United’s history would be ‘damaged forever’ with a move to the Etihad Stadium.
With the five-time Ballon d’Or winner exchanging texts and Whatsapp messages until ‘as late as 1 a.m. BST on Friday morning’, they convinced the forward to chance his mind.
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He then informed Mendes of the decision, which saw the Premier League champions back out of a deal.
Ronaldo already has a, international team-mate at Old Trafford in Bruno Fernandes, who played his own role in the superstar’s U-turn.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who played with the forward at United for four years, said: "I didn't think Ronaldo was going to leave Juventus, speculation the last few days.
“We have always had good communication, Bruno has been talking to him. He knows how we feel about him, if he was ever going to move he knows we are here."
While Wayne Rooney, who won the 2008 Champions League with Ronaldo in red, said he had ‘doubts’ that Ronaldo would move to City.
“Cristiano has a great legacy at United,” the Red Devils’ all-time top scorer said to the media.
While Sir Alex Ferguson, who gave Ronaldo his chance after impressing in a preseason friendly for Sporting Lisbon 18 years ago, spoke to the forward this morning to persuade him.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Manchester United FC
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