Ronaldo Re-Unites with Manchester United; How the Deal was Sealed
Manchester United is delighted to confirm that they have reached an agreement with Juventus for Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical.
It was 1:27pm on Friday afternoon and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had just finished his usual pre-match press conference.
But there was something about his final answer that meant it didn’t feel like the usual media session prior to a match.
“He knows what we feel about him and if he was ever going to move away from Juventus, he knows we’re here,” Solskjaer said after he was quizzed on a possible move for Cristiano Ronaldo.
At that point it was not known that Manchester United had started negotiations with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes. It has been public knowledge for some time that the Portugal international was looking for a new challenge and his agent had been sounding clubs out about a potential transfer. But as of Friday morning, Manchester City were in pole position to land the 36-year-old.
When news filtered through that Manchester United’s horror Cristiano Ronaldo really had agreed to join Manchester City, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke with his inner circle and knew United had to act as the possibility of Ronaldo leaving looked to be turning into more of a reality.
Solskjaer recognized that beyond the playing aspects for Guardiola’s side across town, seeing Ronaldo pull on the blue shirt of City would have wider consequences for United. To allow a legendary United figure to turn out for their local rivals without a fight would damage the club in the eyes of current players, potential recruits and supporters.
Conversely, Solskjaer pictures the benefits re-signing Ronaldo could bring to his squad with his ultra-professionalism and elite pedigree.
Solskjaer placed a call to chief executive Ed Woodward with one aim — he wanted to know if United could do the deal instead. It was a quick conversation. Woodward agreed instantly and set about negotiating with Ronaldo’s Italian club, Juventus.
Meanwhile, the network of past United players and even their iconic former manager Sir Alex Ferguson went to work on Ronaldo himself. Ferguson is described by multiple sources as playing a “major role” over the 24 hours, phoning Ronaldo and using his good relationship with Jorge Mendes, the super-agent, to aid United’s cause.
And just like that, a remarkable day in the history of Manchester United was made. One of their greatest players seemingly set to join Manchester City on Friday morning re-joined Manchester United on Friday evening.
What a wonder; welcome home Cristiano Ronaldo. As the hashtag goes, VIVA RONALDOOOO.