Following Manchester City’s failure to recruit Tottenham’s Harry Kane last summer, a surprise raid for Cristiano Ronaldo, then of Juventus, as the club’s possible new striker appeared to be on the cards.
However, things did not go as planned, and the iconic Portuguese striker made a surprise and emotional return to Manchester United after a 12-year absence.
Pep Guardiola’s team hasn’t suffered as a result of missing out on the veteran’s signing, as their fluid false-nine style has propelled them to the top of the Premier League standings, with an eleven-point lead over second-placed Liverpool.
The reason why the deal between Manchester City and Juventus for Cristiano Ronaldo never came to completion, despite lengthy and strenuous conversations, remains a significant mystery to this day.
Cristiano Ronaldo underwent ‘extensive negotiations’ with Manchester City, according to a new report by the Athletic’s Adam Crafton and other renowned football writers, putting his now-former Juventus teammates under the ‘impression’ that he was set to join the Premier League champions.
More information suggests that one of the main reasons a potential deal fell through was Cristiano Ronaldo’s anxiety that he might not be ‘assured’ a starting spot at Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola is known for rotating his team during the season to match the opposition and keep his players on their toes, as evidenced by one of the club’s constants, Ruben Dias, and his unexpected absence against Chelsea last weekend.
Even an exceptional goal scorer like Cristiano Ronaldo would have struggled to find a spot in Pep Guardiola’s XI given the club’s continual chopping and changing of the starting XI and the club’s extraordinary success last season without using a natural number nine.
It is a credit to Manchester City’s extremely high standards that an all-time great like Cristiano Ronaldo is said to have deemed the competition for slots to be too tough for him to confirm his presence at the Etihad Stadium.