After Manchester City’s failure to sign Tottenham's Harry Kane last summer, a sensational swoop for the then Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo as the club’s potential new striker looked to be on the cards.
However, things ultimately failed to pan out that way, and the legendary Portuguese striker made a shock and emotional return to Manchester United after 12 years away from the club.
Pep Guardiola’s side have not felt the effects of missing out on the veteran’s signature, as their fluid false-nine system has propelled the club to the top of the Premier League table, with a sizeable eleven-point gap over second-place Liverpool.
A major question mark that remains to this day is precisely why the deal between Manchester City and Juventus for Cristiano Ronaldo never ended up coming to fruition, despite lengthy and intense talks.
As per a new report by the Athletic’s Adam Crafton and other leading football correspondents, Cristiano Ronaldo held ‘extensive talks’ with Manchester City, leaving his now former-Juventus teammates under the ‘impression’ that he was ready to join the Premier League champions.
Further details suggest that a major factor behind why a potential transfer broke down was due to Cristiano Ronaldo having been ‘concerned’ that he may not be ‘guaranteed’ a starting place at Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola has a reputation for rotating his side throughout the course of a season, in accordance with the opposition and keeping his players on their toes - as seen with one of the club's mainstays in Ruben Dias and his surprise exclusion against Chelsea last weekend.
With the incessant chopping and changing of the starting XI and the club’s incredible success without deploying a natural number nine last season, it is likely that even an elite goalscorer such as Cristiano Ronaldo would have struggled to nail down his place in Pep Guardiola's XI.
It is a testament to the incredibly high standards set at Manchester City that an all-time great such as Cristiano Ronaldo is reported to have considered the competition for places as too fierce for his liking to confirm an arrival at the Etihad Stadium.
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