Cristiano Ronaldo was on the verge of joining Juventus before another deal broke down and saw Manchester United snap him up.

The world record £80million player had passed a medical at the Bianconeri and was poised to complete his switch until Marcelo Salas, who was to join Sporting Lisbon as part of the deal, suddenly backed out.

Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo as a teenager in 2003, but Moggi claimed that would never have happened has Chile legend Salas had agreed to move to Sporting.

Former Juventus director general Luciano Moggi claimed Cristiano Ronaldo had agreed a terms and was all set for Serie A.

Sir Alex Ferguson eventually convinced Ronaldo to make the move to Old Trafford later that year and it would prove to be a major coup in the club’s recent history.

Cristiano Ronaldo would go on to become one of Manchester United’s best ever players and play a key role in one of Ferguson’s most successful periods during his 26-year career in charge of the Red Devils.

“It’s true, we had got Cristiano Ronaldo,” Moggi was quoted as saying at a publicity event by Football Italia.

“We took Salas to Sporting Lisbon and Ronaldo had a medical in Turin. Then Salas suddenly turned down the transfer and in the end Ronaldo signed for Manchester United.”

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