Rio Ferdinand and Bruno Fernandes played important roles in persuading Cristiano Ronaldo to return to Manchester United, according to the Guardian.
The newspaper claims that a move “accelerated” after a “series of calls” from the pair, leading to the Portuguese legend making a sensational move back to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes had previously approached Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and United earlier in the summer but had not received any real encouragement.
However, after City missed out on Harry Kane, their interest in Ronaldo seems to have played a part in United getting involved.
The Citizens were unwilling to pay a fee for the Juventus forward, and were unprepared to offload Gabriel Jesus, who Juve wanted to be part of the deal.
Instead, United agreed a fee in a region of €15m (£12.8m), with €8m (£6.9m) in add-ons, for Ronaldo. It seems Ferdinand and Fernandes’s persuasive powers, combined with United’s determination to trump City, got the deal over the line.