According to Fernandinho, Manchester City had a “considerable chance” of signing Cristiano Ronaldo before he returned to Manchester United.
Premier League champions City were strongly linked to Ronaldo last month after it emerged that he had asked to leave Juventus, where he had spent the previous three seasons.
However, United made an incredible coup by agreeing a deal worth £ 19.67 million (€ 23 million) for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, 12 years after his departure for Real Madrid.
Ronaldo started his second stint at United well with three goals in two games, but Fernandinho hinted that the Portugal captain could very well have been a City player.
Asked how close his team was to signing the superstar forward, Fernandinho told ESPN Brasil: “I think they’ve had a good, sizeable chance.
“I think his agent [Jorge Mendes] was here at the club to renew the contracts of Ederson, Ruben Dias, given the situation of Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo.
“Of course, if you’re there at the table, you can talk about everything and every possible player.”
Shortly after writing down an initial two-year contract with United, Ronaldo revealed the part former boss Alex Ferguson played in his decision to opt for a return to Old Trafford.
And given the media attention surrounding the prospect of Ronaldo agreeing to join City, Fernandinho believes other factors played a role in the 36-year-old’s decision.
“I think a lot of expectations have been raised even with the possibility of him coming here,” said the Brazilian. “Without a doubt this ends up affecting not only the fans but also the people within the club.
“But in the end things didn’t work out, he didn’t close the deal and ended up going to the red part of town. Life goes on.”
After scoring two goals on his second Old Trafford debut in last weekend’s 4-1 win against Newcastle United, Ronaldo was on target again in the Red Devils’ 2-1 surprise Champions League loss to Young Boys Tuesday.
Ronaldo’s lead in the 13th minute made Young Boys the 36th team he scored against in the Champions League, a record the Portuguese now shares with Lionel Messi.
He also equaled another Swiss record in what was his 177th Champions League appearance, equaling the number of games played by legendary Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.