Juventus sporting director Federico Cherubini has revealed why Cristiano Ronaldo reunited with Manchester United as opposed to joining Manchester City in the summer.
The Cityzens were strongly linked with a move for Ronaldo after he made it clear to Juventus that he wanted to leave the club. However, they pulled the plug on the move and allowed crosstown rivals United to swoop for their former icon.
Ronaldo eventually rejoined the Red Devils on a two-year deal, with United potentially paying Juve €23m for the all-time great’s services.
In a recent interview, Cherubini revealed how Ronaldo ended up back at Old Trafford this summer.
United ‘behaved differently’ to City
It was widely reported that Man City were unwilling to pay the Bianconeri a fee to bring Ronaldo to the sky blue side of Manchester, which ultimately ruled them out of the running.
Speaking to Tuttosport regarding City’s pursuit of the 36-year-old and the possibility of them picking him up on a free transfer, sporting director Cherubini said candidly: “They weren’t the right conditions.”
He then added with disdain towards the antics of the Cityzens: “Manchester United behaved differently, like a club with tradition.”
The first serious revelation over Ronaldo’s future in Turin came ahead of Juventus’ Serie A opener against Udinese. Before kick-off, the prolific forward is said to have told Allegri to drop him to the bench for the match as he’s keen to resolve his future at the club in the days that followed. Essentially, he wanted to leave.
Ronaldo then made his intentions clear to Allegri and the club ahead of Juve’s Matchday 2 clash with Empoli. He would never don a Bianconeri strip ever again.
“There couldn’t be a different end, given the way Ronaldo had spoken to us. We couldn’t force a player to stay in a context that he didn’t recognise anymore,” Cherubini said.
“We respect Ronaldo, but I share the same view as our president – Juventus’ history is made by great champions, coaches and directors, but the club remains the most important thing.”
The irreplaceable Ronaldo
Juventus acted swiflty in their bid to find a replacement for Ronaldo, quickly overseeing a reunion of their own as Moise Kean returned to the club following a difficult spell at Everton.
And while Cherubini rightly said it’s “impossible” to replace last season’s Capocannoniere and the fastest player to 100 goals in Juventus’ history, Cherubini is nonetheless hopeful of Kean’s potential.
“We anticipated the future by signing Kean, but it’s a signal for future generations. We brought an academy product back home. Here at Juventus, there is space for players coming from the youth sector,” the sporting director said.
“It’s true that he was sold two years ago, but it was for an important fee for a guy who was only 19 at that time.
“Today he returns to Juventus as a different and more mature player. He has so much room for improvement,” he concluded.
Kean spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, where he scored 13 times in 26 Ligue 1 appearances. His talent is distinct despite his Merseyside woes and there’s certainly hope the Italian can evolve into a leading figure of the Old Lady over the next decade.