Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed he tried to convince former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo into making a return back to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils centre-back has admitted he was constantly pestering the Portuguese megastar over the course of the summer in hope that he would move back to Manchester United.
Reports had suggested that Manchester United were preparing an £80million bid for Ronaldo, as the Old Trafford-based outfit were desperate to bring in a big-money signing following Sir Alex Ferguson's departure from the club.
However despite Manchester United's apparent attempts to sign Ronaldo, who spent six years at Old Trafford before moving to Real Madrid, eventually agreed a new five-year-contract worth £76million to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ferdinand, speaking to the Daily Mirror, said on trying to lure Ronaldo back to the Premier League champions:
“What do you think? He was one of the most dialled people on my phone at the time!
“But I think the opportunity has gone now. If we could have done it, I think it would have been last summer. He’s signed a new deal at Real now.
“As footballers you don’t really let on too much to each other. It’s like a chess game. And in those situations you have got your one and two first-choice moves or scenarios that you want to happen.
"So to let people know is sort of letting the cat out of the bag. You play your cards close to your chest.
“But if he was going to leave Real Madrid, I think Manchester United would have been the place he would have come to. That’s my personal view, but no-one will ever know now.”
Ronaldo has gone onto score 36 goals in 26 games for club and country this season, while Manchester United have struggled to replicate last season's championship-winning form.