Juventus chief Federico Cherubini has revealed how Manchester United’s different approach to Manchester City to Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer won them the race.
Following three successful years in a new challenge in Italy, the 36-year-old decided to move on. Initially, City looked like the favourites to snap Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer up. However, the situation turned on its head in 24 hours, with United ending up bringing him back to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo joined up and trained with his new team-mates this week as he closes in on his second Red Devils debut.
He could start Saturday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle at Old Trafford.
He could have been playing for City, but the Premier League champions did not want to pay a fee. Indeed, Ronaldo had only one year left on his deal. Instead, Cherubini revealed United acted better in transfer discussions.
“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.
“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.”
Juventus responded to Ronaldo’s departure by bringing Moise Kean back to the club from Everton. However, Cherubini admitted he felt anxious to see how the final days of the window would play out.
“The week before the game against Udinese, we were sure he would stay,” Cherubini said.
“I don’t want to be hypocritical and say that it was nice to manage this situation on August 28. Everybody would have been happier to handle something similar a month earlier.
“The only risk is that a player like Kean may not have been available at that point, not all the players are waiting until August 31 to know if Ronaldo will stay or leave.”
High hopes for Moise Kean
Kean moves back to Juve on an initial two-year loan following his struggles at Goodison Park.
Nevertheless, he spent last season on loan too – at Paris Saint-Germain – and got back in the spotlight.
“It’s impossible to replace Ronaldo,” Cherubini said. “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.
“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.”
Juve have started the season with a draw and a defeat from two Serie A games.
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