Cristiano Ronaldo ‘was offered to Atletico Madrid by agent Jorge Mendes before he sealed his dream Manchester United return’… but the club ‘turned down the sensational move due to fears over a fan backlash’
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes had reportedly offered him to Atletico
- Ronaldo told Juventus he wanted to leave, sparking a summer transfer scramble
- But Atletico turned down the move because of fears over a backlash from fans
- That left the door open for Manchester United to later swoop in and seal a return
Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed a fairytale homecoming at Manchester United, but his return may have been in danger after he was reportedly offered to Atletico Madrid.
Superstar Ronaldo has hit the ground running during his second spell with United, having scored four goals in three games and dazzled despite his advancing age.
But this season might have looked very different for both the club and their player, with reports in Spain now claiming that Atletico were given the chance to sign him.
Cristiano Ronaldo was reportedly offered to Atletico Madrid before joining Manchester United
Carrusel Deportivo, via Sport, have reported that the LaLiga champions were alerted to the prospect of the sensational move during the final month of the window.
Super agent Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s representative, regularly conducts business with Atletico, and is believed to have pressed ahead in an attempt to broker the deal.
The negotiations would have proven difficult, however, with Juventus initially reluctant to let Ronaldo leave while Atletico would have struggled to pay his wages.
Diego Simeone is said to have turned down the move because of concerns over a fan backlash
Atletico are the LaLiga holders and Ronaldo would have strengthened their defence of the title
Indeed, the potential switch collapsed when the club rejected it because of the veteran’s past success at fierce city rivals Real Madrid, the report adds.
After being told they would need to kickstart negotiations before August 15, Atletico were reluctant to seal the swoop, fearing a backlash from their own supporters.
In the end, manager Diego Simeone turned his attentions to a return for Antoine Griezmann, a deal only made possible by Saul Niguez joining Chelsea.
Ronaldo left it late to officially confirm to Juventus that he wanted to quit the Turin side, beginning an apparent bidding war between United and Manchester City.
Ronaldo’s fairytale homecoming at United may have been scuppered if Atletico moved for him
Initially, it appeared City were the firm favourites to sign him, but they later pulled out of the chase, insisting they were never seriously interested.
That left the door open for United to move in and bring back Ronaldo, 12 years on after he left for Real Madrid in a then world-record move.
He admitted to relishing life fighting away in a Premier League title scrap once again after United’s hard-fought, rollercoaster victory against West Ham at the weekend.
United fell behind after Said Benrahma’s strike deflected in, but Ronaldo equalised with a close-range tap-in after his initial effort was parried out.
Superstar Ronaldo (R) has enjoyed a flying start at United, scoring four goals in three games
Jesse Lingard then netted the winner with a superb curling shot from distance, and David de Gea made himself a hero by saving a stoppage-time penalty.
Taking to Instagram, Ronaldo revealed his love for football in England and the competitiveness it brings to his 345million followers.
His message read: ‘Every game in the Premier League is always an amazing fight for the three points.
With United trailing at West Ham, Ronaldo had popped up with an equaliser with a simple finish
‘Today we got to see a glimpse of all the obstacles that we will find on our way, but we have to keep our mind set on our goals.
‘Together! Strong! Focused! Let’s go, Devils!’
United face West Ham again in the Carabao Cup tomorrow, and Ronaldo may be rested by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.