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How Cristiano Ronaldo came dangerously close to signing for Liverpool in 2003 as opposed to Manchester United?

Jamie Carragher and Cristiano Ronaldo

Before Cristiano Ronaldo opted to join Manchester United, a former assistant manager of Liverpool has disclosed how close they were to recruiting the player.

In 2003, Ronaldo made his initial transfer to Old Trafford from Sporting in Portugal. The teenage forward earned his mark on the international scene during that time thanks to outstanding performances for Sir Alex Ferguson.

Because of their success, they were offered a lucrative contract by Real Madrid in 2009, and the rest is history. The Portuguese star, who returned to the Theatre of Dreams last year, has now made it known to United that, should a “fair” offer be offered, he would like to go.

Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Manchester United fuelled by 25% salary reduction as the Red Devils failed to qualify for Champions League: Reports

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United hasn’t been great:

Cristiano Ronaldo

However, if Gerard Houllier and Phil Thompson had gotten their way, things may have turned out quite differently. In an interview with Paddy Power, the latter discussed how close the Merseyside club came to signing Ronaldo over 20 years ago.

When I worked with Gerard Houllier at Liverpool, there were a couple guys we didn’t get, Thompson said. “One person wasn’t particularly well-known, if at all, yet he managed to succeed in both life and football.

“His name was, I believe, Cristiano Ronaldo, that’s right. He was being offered to several teams by his agent Paul Stretford, and we were also being offered him, so we went to take a look at him.

“There was Manchester United, I remember being linked, Newcastle as well, and people were wanting him. I went to see the last game of the season over there [in Portugal] and we chatted.

“That was on the Sunday, on the Monday I arrived back in Liverpool, went into training, we were sitting there, and I said to Gerard Houllier, ‘This boy’s a player, he’s great.’ He’d been offered to everybody for £4m.

“He wanted £1m over the four years of his contract and it would have quite easily been done. Next thing, it comes up on the screen on the strap at the bottom of Sky Sports News, ‘ Cristiano Ronaldo signs for United – £12.2m.”

Gerard Houllier said: ‘What the heck’s gone on there, Phil? I thought it was £4m? I thought it was up for debate.’ He said: ‘Get on to the agent and find out why.’

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