Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has spoken for the first time about the decision not to pursue Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, insisting that signing the forward was never an option.
Ronaldo moved to Juventus from Real Madrid in a €100million deal in July, ending his nine-year stay at the Bernabeu.
The Portugal captain was repeatedly linked with a return to Old Trafford after leaving the club in 2009, but Mourinho said his return was never a possibility.
“Cristiano was never on my table to say yes or no to Cristiano to come to us,” Mourinho, who worked with Ronaldo at Madrid between 2010 and 2013, told ESPN after the 2-0 win over Burnley on Sunday.
“It was never on the table.”
United will face Ronaldo and Juventus in the Champions League group stages this season, first at Old Trafford on October 23 and then at the Allianz Stadium on November 7.
Mourinho hinted that Ronaldo’s decision to move to Italy was because Juventus are desperate to land a first European Cup since 1996, but expressed confidence that United will present a challenge.