|Image from SPORTBible|
During Manchester United’s official podcast, UTD Podcast, Patrice Evra revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo had told him he would rejoin Manchester United in 2013 before Sir Alex announced his retirement.
Evra recalled on the podcast: “He…said: ‘My target is I’m 99 per cent sure we will have Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. I just need these two players to win the Champions League again. Ninety-nine per cent.’, and to be fair, when I speak with Cristiano, I ask him and he said yes to the boss, and was coming to join United. He told me this.”
However, Cristiano Ronaldo did not join as Sir Alex announced his retirement and neither did Gareth Bale who instead joined Ronaldo at Real Madrid for a world record fee of £85m at the time and won 13 trophies with Ronaldo during their time together.
Looking back at this retrospectively, it seems to be the start of an era of hosts of players ‘reportedly interested’ or ‘agreeing to join’ Manchester United and the deal never materialising and it is clear that there are two big reasons for this, Sir Alex’s departure and Ed Woodward’s incompetence.
Evra also recalled how Sir Alex broke the news about his retirement to the squad:
“After two weeks, we were in the dressing room waiting. When we arrived at Carrington, I see all those cameras and I was like: ‘Wow, someone has done something wrong. Maybe a player is the story again! Someone has done something wrong, we are in trouble.’”
“But we arrived and people said, ‘Guys, you have to stay in the dressing room because the boss wants to have a chat’. And when the boss came into the dressing room to talk to everyone, it’s never good news.”
“He came, and he said, ‘I’m really sorry. Some people have said that I’m going to retire even before I say it myself. That’s why you saw all those cameras. But I will retire because my wife needs me’. He apologised to [Robin] van Persie, he apologised to Shinji [Kagawa], because he just brought them. He apologised to them especially.”