There is this axiom in football that “Real Madrid always gets their man”. for Arsenal, that axiom has been the direct opposite – as we have [painfully seen our targets joined other clubs.
Former world football of the year Christiano Ronaldo was close to joining Arsenal but for lack of transfer funds. This is according to former Arsenal scout Damien Comolli, reports the Metro.
The super star attacker joined the Red Devils in the summer of 2003 from Sporting Lisbon in a a £12.2 million deal. He went on to be a torn in the flesh of our defenders and won the Ballon D’oR three times and is in the running for a fourth.
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had revealed that he was persuaded to sign the Portugal international after series of persuasion from his players.
But Comolli, who worked under Arsene Wenger as Arsenal’s scout in Europe, claims the Real Madrid forward had already visited the Gunners’ training ground on two occasions before United made their move.
“The first time I saw Ronaldo, it was at the Montaigu tournament, he was 15. He played against Japan before and I thought: ‘Who the hell is this?’’ Comolli told SFR Sport.
‘At half-time, I called my contact in Portugal to which I said that I had seen a phenomenon.
‘Since Thierry Henry, I’ve never seen that.
‘He came twice to the training ground. Nobody knows that. He met Thierry [Henry], who was his idol.
‘But when it came to making the transfer, there was no money.
‘Months later, Manchester United made a partnership with Sporting, they played a friendly match in Lisbon. He slaughtered them and Sir Alex Ferguson said: ‘He must go to United’.’
He have been linked to a plethora of world class of players that were close to joining but never joined us. We know the story of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gonzalo Higuain, Di Maria and even Lionel Messi.