Cristiano Ronaldo has pushed for an exit from Manchester United before during his first stint when he tried to sign for Real Madrid. Erik ten Hag now finds himself in the same situation as Sir Alex Ferguson back then in the 2009 transfer window.
However, that situation did not turn out well for the Red Devils when Ronaldo did force a move from the club – joining Real Madrid in a world-record transfer at the time. That was despite Fergie’s best efforts, which included a private phone call to the Portugal international.
In 2009, a dramatic and long transfer saga ended when Ronaldo made the move to the Bernabeu and history could be about to repeat itself this summer. What made matters worse was the fact that Ronaldo insisted he would not go – just to leave a few weeks later.
“I can confirm that I’ll be playing for Manchester United next season. I’ll be playing with my heart and soul and I will fight and honour the shirt with the same desire and dedication as I always have,” he said 13 years ago. “My coach [Ferguson] was kind enough to come and see me in Lisbon a few days ago.
“It was a very honest conversation between two people that respect each other and that I’m sure share a mutual affection and friendship. Sir Alex listened to me, I listened to him and we established that the best for both sides would be for me to continue at Old Trafford.
“It’s no sacrifice for me, it’s a great honour. I have important things to win in England. I want to defend the European title and help United become world champions, not forgetting the Premier League and other competitions.”