David Moyes joined Manchester United having been told by the club’s board that they would sign Cristiano Ronaldo that summer, claims Guillem Balague.
Having taken over at Old Trafford following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Moyes endured a tough first summer as United manager in 2013 with only Marouane Fellaini added to the first-team squad.
Yet, according to Balague, he took the job believing the club were about to re-sign Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo still dreams of returning to Manchester United,’ Balague writes in his new book ‘Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography‘.
‘The English club informed his agent in 2013 that they have enough financial power to secure his return.
‘In fact, everything has been in place since his departure in case both parties decide to take that step.
‘The club’s new manager at the time, David Moyes, believed that they were about to convince Ronaldo to come back that very summer. That was the message that United’s board transmitted to him.
‘What ensued instead was a contract renewal for Ronaldo at Real Madrid that turned him into the best-paid player on the planet in September 2013.’
Although the move did not happen in 2013, Balague claims Ronaldo is still likely to return to Manchester United before long.
‘In summer 2014 he told a Real Madrid player who was about to leave Los Blancos that he saw himself at United in two years’ time,’ Balague writes.
‘The feeling that Carrington was the ideal place to pave his path, Old Trafford to play his football and the Premier League to feel loved gradually developed in Ronaldo’s head.
‘At Manchester United, he was completely focused on his target. In Madrid, other things are demanded and the sporting rewards may be superior (although that is open to debate), and the commercial side more profitable (ditto).
‘But the level of universal appreciation from his own fans and opponents is far inferior at Madrid.
‘Despite the boos in his first and final seasons at Manchester United, he felt loved as he has never felt since. Alex Ferguson reminds him whenever he can that the door is still open.’