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Cristiano Ronaldo admits he was close to joining Man City

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Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that he was ‘close’ to joining Manchester City last summer, before his ‘heart’ convinced him to make a sensational return to Manchester United instead.

At the time, Ronaldo was heavily linked with City while in the process of leaving Juventus. At one stage it even appeared as though City would get a deal done, until United swooped in.

Now, the 37-year-old has revealed just how keen City were to have him and how invested Pep Guardiola was in making it a reality.

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“Honestly, it was close,” Ronaldo confirmed in his lengthy interview with TalkTV. “It was something that they spoke about a lot and Guardiola said two weeks ago that they tried hard to have me.

“But as you know, [because of] my history with Manchester United, your heart, your feeling, what you did before, made the difference of course – and as well, Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I was surprised in some way, but it was a conscience decision because the heart was speaking loud in that moment.”

However, it wasn’t long before things turned sour for Ronaldo back at United. He finished the season with 24 goals in all competitions but the club ensured its worst season in Premier League history and Ronaldo asked to leave during the summer.

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His interview now has only worsened relations but things were already starting to tear last season when Ralf Rangnick, who Ronaldo claims he had never heard was appointed as interim manager when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked.

“After Ole, they bring a sport director, Ralf Rangnick, which is something nobody understands. This guy is not even a coach. A big club like Manchester United bringing a sport director surprised not only me but all the world,” Ronaldo said.

“If you’re not even a coach, how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United? It’s something that I should say that Manchester has followed not the right way to reach the success of other teams like Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea.

“…they are one step behind or two because of these kind of mistakes.

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“No [I’d never heard of him]. Of course not. Nobody, the people who I spoke to knew. I respect [him], all the coaches in my career I had to call them the boss, but deep inside me I never saw him as the boss because I saw some points that I never agreed. He stopped in time as well because if you’re not being a coach for the last five years, you’re going to lose your identity as a coach.”

Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher & Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cups’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!



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EPL

Al-Nassr offer Cristiano Ronaldo record-breaking contract

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Al-Nassr have offered Cristiano Ronaldo a contract that could make him the highest paid footballer in history, according to report.

The 37-year-old sensationally left Manchester United by mutual agreement earlier this month after he criticised the club’s players, manager and hierarchy in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan.

Ronaldo, who is currently away at the World Cup with Portugal, has been targeted by clubs in Saudi Arabia before, and turned down the opportunity to join Al-Hilal in the summer despite being offered over £300m to do so.

90min previously revealed that Al-Hilal were preparing a fresh offer for Ronaldo, but it’s believed they have turned their attention to Lionel Messi and other priorities – paving the way for Al-Nassr to try and engineer a move of their own.

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Ronaldo’s current intention is to remain in Europe, where he can continue to compete in the Champions League, but sources have confirmed to 90min that Al-Nassr have put forward a blockbuster contract offer to take him to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Nassr’s offer is believed to be a three-year deal worth close to £250m a year once add-ons, incentives and bonuses are factored in – eclipsing the huge contract Kylian Mbappe penned earlier this summer to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronaldo is yet to respond to Al-Nassr’s proposal, but his desire to continue competing at the highest level was made clear in the interview he conducted with Morgan.

Newcastle United, owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Chelsea are two Premier League teams to have previously been linked with Ronaldo.

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Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration

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Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.

The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.

Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:

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“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”

Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.

“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click to download or listen to the episode in full!



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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player

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Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.

Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.

On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.

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It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.

Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey in the latest episode of Talking Transfers, discussing Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview and his future, Man Utd’s interest in Cody Gakpo, plus the latest on Endrick and Rafael Leao. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.

Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.

He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.





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