Even though we had another summer full of transfer sagas, it was hard to expect that a Manchester derby would take place for the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus.
It was Manchester City who seemed closest on landing the 36-year-old initially, and following a story we all know by now, he ended up moving back to Manchester United.
Now although there’s not a lot of comments coming from Pep Guardiola’s side regarding that battle, midfielder Fernandinho talked a little about it in a chat with Brazilian journalists.
The Manchester City captain took part in Correspondentes Premier, a show held by Brazilian reporters who live in England. And since this week’s episode started with them talking about Cristiano Ronaldo, he was quizzed if the Portuguese star really got close to moving to the Etihad Stadium this summer.
“I think there was a chance, yes, good, considerable. I think there were even a few conversations,” said Fernandinho (via ESPN).
“Also because his agent was here at the club renewing Ederson’s contract, Ruben Dias’ contract, seeing the situation of Bernardo Silva and João Cancelo as well. So obviously if you’re there at the table, you can talk about everything and every possible player.”
“But I think that a lot of expectations were also raised with the possibility of him coming here. Without a doubt, this ends up affecting not only the fans, but affected also the people inside the club. But in the end things didn’t work out, he didn’t close the deal, and ended up going to the red side of town then. Life goes on.”
Fernandinho also talked about the comparisons between the City and United squads, saying Pep Guardiola’s team should have some advantages.
“If you’re going to compare name by name, I think it’s very level. Both teams have a very good squad. Perhaps one or the other will take a very small advantage.
“But I think that due to the standard of play, the way we have played for five or six years with Pep, we have a defined standard of play, we know exactly how each player behaves or should behave on the field, we know about quality of each player and how he can play the best role in the matches. Without a doubt, in this matter, we have a little more advantage. Having practically the same players since 2017, it’s no wonder the club managed to win three titles in the last five.
“But without a doubt United, due to history, the weight of the shirt, the quality of the players, in a short period of time can reach the level we are at today.”