Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent has revealed that Arsenal almost signed the player, but a lack of cash was a significant factor.
CR7 signed for Manchester United from Portuguese club Sporting back in 2003, where he became a household name.
A then-world record move to Real Madrid for £80m followed.
Mendes has spoken at length about the events leading to Ronaldo’s move to Old Trafford, where he scored 118 goals in six years.
He quotes in the new book, The Key To Mendes: ‘There was a moment in which I really thought he was going to Arsenal.
‘David Dein is a spectacular person but, with the construction of their stadium, they were left with very little money and it wasn’t possible.
‘The only person key to everything was Alex Ferguson. He told me that Cristiano was going to play at least 50 per cent of the games for Manchester United and that’s what I wanted to hear.
Ronaldo himself recalled: ‘We were travelling by car and Jorge was calling us constantly telling me to hide so no one would see me.
‘We went to a service station and I hid my face. I remember back then that Jorge was going crazy, those were Jorge’s craziest days.’
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had his own version of events.
He said: ‘What happened was that Carlos Queiroz went to Manchester United and they snapped him away from us because he knew him from Sporting.
‘That’s what life is about. You give your best but sometimes you might find that people are stronger than you. That can happen as well.’
Steve Osborne @Pack3rNa7ion