Cristiano Ronaldo looked set to join Arsenal prior to his move to Manchester United, according to revelations in the biography of super-agent Jorge Mendes, as relayed by ESPN.
The Portuguese forward moved to Old Trafford in 2003, and quickly established himself as a classy act before gradually developing into a world-class asset. The rest, as they say, is history.
However, all wasn’t as it seemed behind the scenes of Ronaldo’s initial move from Sporting Lisbon to the Premier League according to Mendes, who has claimed that he genuinely believed the player - who is his client - was to join Arsene Wenger’s side instead.
"There was a moment in which I really thought he was going to Arsenal," Mendes is said to have written in reflection.
"There was a moment in which I really thought he was going to Arsenal"
"David Dein is a spectacular person but, with the construction of their stadium, they were left with very little money and it wasn't possible."
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The comments come merely days after Wenger himself confirmed that he had missed out on the signing of current United star Angel di Maria due to a work permit issue when the player was 17, though the disappointment from the fans will naturally be more evident in the case of Ronaldo.
Fresh from winning his third Ballon d’Or in Zurich earlier this month the Portugal captain is sitting in his prime, and it makes sense to assume that he could have helped Arsenal considerably during their trophy-drought years - brought to an end when Wenger’s team lifted the FA Cup last summer.