Cristiano Ronaldo is currently being linked with a shock move to Manchester City as he attempts to leave Juventus before the transfer window closes.
The 36-year-old wants to leave Juve after three years in Turin and French publication L’Equipe reported on Tuesday that he is looking to seal a move to the Premier League champions.
City’s preference was to sign their number one target Harry Kane but the Tottenham striker confirmed via social media on Wednesday that he is staying with his current employers.
Spurs rejected two City bids for Kane, who wanted to join Pep Guardiola’s side this summer, both of which were worth well over £100 million.
Now that their attempts to sign Kane have ended in failure, will City be tempted by the prospect of bringing Ronaldo to the Etihad Stadium?
Despite his advancing years, the legendary Portuguese superstar is still one of the world’s most prolific goalscorers and remains in incredible physical condition.
However, Ronaldo will be acutely aware that joining City would tarnish his reputation as a Manchester United great.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner spent six successful years at Old Trafford, where his name is still chanted today, 13 years after he left the Red Devils for Real Madrid.
But the chance to win major honours – including, potentially, another Ballon d’Or award – under Guardiola might be enough to convince Ronaldo that it’s a risk worth taking.
Ronaldo has never worked with Guardiola but the pair have faced each other on numerous occasions down the years.
Things were particularly heated between 2009-2012, when Ronaldo’s Real Madrid and Guardiola’s Barcelona were involved in a host of intense Clasico battles.
Guardiola left Barça in the summer of 2012, partly due to burnout. Being involved in direct competition with Jose Mourinho’s Madrid took its toll on the revered Catalan coach, who ended up taking a one-year sabbatical.
Frosty moment between Guardiola and Ronaldo
Midway through that year-long break, Guardiola and Ronaldo crossed paths at the 2012 Ballon d’Or ceremony in January 2013.
And there was a frosty moment between the two which is still awkward to watch now.
Ronaldo spotted Guardiola and gave him a friendly tap.
Pep then glanced up, noticed who it was, before giving Cristiano the cold shoulder.
Watch the footage here…
Brutal from Guardiola.
“One can only speculate on the reason behind Guardiola’s seemingly deliberate decision to ignore Ronaldo, though with the recent history in El Clasico gives a pretty large hint,” the Daily Mail’s John Drayton wrote at the time.
“Red cards, close games, touchline clashes, title clinchers and cup finals have all made the meeting of Spain’s top two the most enticing of matches in world football.
“The look on Ronaldo’s face told a story of bemusement, while Pep went back to soaking up the atmosphere.”
Eight years later, though, and there’s suddenly a chance that Ronaldo and Guardiola will be working together at Man City.
And who knows, perhaps they’ll even attend the next Ballon d’Or ceremony together.
Harry Kane to Man City is off (Football Terrace)
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