Manchester United are off until the League Cup Round of 16 clash against Burnley on December 21. Although they do have two friendlies, Cadiz on December 7, Real Betis on December 10, prior to that. With that extended time off, it’s time to talk transfer rumors. It doesn’t look like there is a way back in the team for Cristiano Ronaldo, and at this point, why should there be?
It was long past time for both sides to move on, even before the controversial interview with Piers Morgan, and now that Talk TV segment is inspiring reaction from rival clubs.
Ronaldo claimed that he was very close to joining Manchester City, and that the only reason the move didn’t happen is because the G.O.A.T. himself, Sir Alex Ferguson, intervened.
“I think it was the key, it was the difference in that moment, but I cannot be loyal if I will, I wouldn’t say that Manchester City wasn’t close,” Ronaldo said. “I spoke with [Ferguson]. He said to me that, ‘It’s impossible for you to come to Manchester City,’ and I say, ‘OK, boss.’
“Well, honestly, it [joining City] was close… It’s something they spoke [about] a lot and [City manager Pep] Guardiola said two weeks ago, I guess, that they tried hard to have me.”
Fergie is like a father figure to Ronaldo, and it does make sense that his opinion could hold that much weight, and alter the 37-year-old’s decision making. However, according to numerous outlets, all of which claim to have sources within Man City, Ronaldo’s comments about the situation are actually “not reflective” of what their interest was at the time, which they described as “mild.”
We have more on this, from the MCFC perspective, in another post here. For now, let’s move on to Jude Bellingham, who is wanted by both Manchester clubs, as well as Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
In case you missed it, Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans Watzke said a couple days ago that they will let Bellingham leave this summer, if he wants to.
Expect a major bidding war, as he was rated the player with the highest transfer value of any who are participating in the World Cup. That’s according to the CIES Football Observatory, who place an estimated transfer value of €202m on the English midfielder.
Is he worth it? Is this CIES “study” for real?
Well, they say these values are derived from using a bespoke algorithm, whatever that is.
Jude Bellingham may still stay put, but it is more likely that he will trigger an intense summer transfer window battle in 2023, so stay tuned.
Paul M. Banks is the Owner/Manager of The Sports Bank and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks