Cristiano Ronaldo nearly joined Arsenal before Man U

December 6th, 2008 - 1:54 pm ICT by ANI  


London, Dec 6 (ANI): Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that he had come very close to signing up with Arsenal before he joined Manchester United.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger met Ronaldo thrice to persuade him to join the north London team, but his efforts failed because Man U offered the footballer three times more the amount the former was offering.

I came within a whisker of doing it. Wenger is someone I respect a lot. He is very intelligent, the Sun quoted Ronaldo as saying.

Wenger did his best to woo Ronaldo over to his team and even gave the ace footie a Gunners shirt with his name on the back, but unfortunately for him he was only able to seduce Ronaldos mum, Maria Dolores.

Im disappointed that I seduced only Ronaldos mum! It was a question of the amount of transfer fee to Sporting Lisbon. Of course, hes proved to be a bargain, Wenger said.

The price in fact we discussed was much lower. It was divided by three. What killed the deal is that United came back from the US and played against Sporting Lisbon and Ronaldo was man of the match.

I had Ronaldo at the training ground, I showed him around and I gave him a shirt. It has got his name on the back.

I wanted him to be here but he went to Man United, he added.

According to Ronaldos agent Jorge Mendes, Arsenal and Manchester United were the only two teams that wanted the player on their side immediately.

That is what happened. Everyone wanted Cristiano Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona, Mendes said.

But only Arsenal and Manchester United attempted to take him from that season. The others wanted to leave him at Sporting at least a year, he added. (ANI)

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