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Ferguson’s sway still alive as he gets the better of Man City and Guardiola

Legendary Manchester United manager Ferguson helped gazump City to the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in the final days of the summer transfer window, proving his pull over Guardiola

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Cristiano Ronaldo ‘happy to be back home’ at Man United

Eight years on, Sir Alex Ferguson’s sway is still alive after getting the better of Pep Guardiola.

Ferguson helped Manchester United re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer transfer window, following heavy speculation surrounding a shock move to Manchester City.

Confirmed on deadline day, Ronaldo claimed his former manager was the “main key” in returning to Old Trafford, confirming that Guardiola was the latest to be hindered by Ferguson and his pulling power.

Although it is now hard to imagine the five-time Ballon d’Or winner making his name anywhere else, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal came agonisingly close to signing the 18-year-old Sporting Lisbon starlet in 2003.



Guardiola beat Ferguson in two Champions League finals but has been quashed by the ex-Man Utd manager’s sway in the transfer market




Prior to that pre-season friendly performance which prompted the Red Devils to snap the Portuguese prodigy up, the Gunners had all but sealed Ronaldo’s signature.

Wenger told BILD LIVE : “I believe that Sir Alex played a big role. He was supposed to go to Arsenal at the time and he took him away from me. Today he did that with City.

“Ronaldo was at our training ground and had an Arsenal shirt,” revealed the 71-year-old.

“But at that time Carlos ­Queiroz was Sir Alex’s assistant and convinced him to buy 18-year-old ­Ronaldo. We could only pay €4million. (£3.4m).



Ronaldo stunned Man Utd in a 2003 pre-season friendly and was on Arsenal’s radar
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Image:

Getty)






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Manchester United via Getty Imag)




“Back then, ­Manchester United paid €12m.”

Wenger is not completely sold on the move back to Old Trafford, however, claiming his addition brings with it a “big challenge.”

He said while discussing the sensational transfer with the German outlet: “This is a love story that you want to see.

“[He was re-signed] for more than just sporting reasons, it’s also emotional. I think the decision is not 100% rational.

“Finding a balance in the team is a big challenge. But the players with a lot of experience still score a lot.”



Wenger believes the re-signing of Ronaldo poses a “big challenge”




Despite the frustration of missing out on both Harry Kane and Ronaldo in the same transfer window, Guardiola can take comfort in the fact he is certainly not the first manager to be pushed aside by Ferguson’s legendary sway.

The City boss has previously claimed that his club “could not afford” Harry Maguire and Alexis Sanchez, who both joined the 20-time English champions over the sky blues.

In the case of United’s new No.7, though, it seems pull power was the deciding factor.

“As everybody knows, since I signed for Manchester [United] at 18, Sir Alex Ferguson was the key,” Ronaldo told manutd.com.









“I remember when we played against Manchester when I was at Sporting Lisbon. For me, Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father in football for me.

“He helped me a lot, he taught me many things, and in my opinion of course he had a big role because the relationship that we had, we keep in touch all the time, and he’s an unbelievable person.

“I really like him a lot and he was the main key for me to be in the position that I am, that I signed for Manchester United.”

Many believed Guardiola would have the same appeal for Lionel Messi, but his move to Paris Saint-Germain ended hopes of a reunion between master and apprentice.



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