Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has taken the unusual step of using Twitter to distance himself from a move for Cristiano Ronaldo, telling his millions of followers that he has “never considered” signing the Juventus talisman.
Superstar striker Ronaldo won one of his five Ballon d’Or titles during Ancelotti’s previous reign at Madrid between 2013 and 2015, when the pair lifted four trophies including the Champions League and the Spanish Copa del Rey.
Despite his focus being widely thought to remain on signing Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, Ancelotti had been “delighted” at the prospect of Ronaldo returning to the Bernabeu, according to the Spanish press.
The former Everton coach has now directly intervened to insist that he has no intention of plucking the Portugal captain from Juventus, suggesting that re-signing Ronaldo would not be a “forward” move.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 17, 2021
“Cristiano is a Real Madrid legend and he has all my love and respect,” said Ancelotti, who is arguably the most high-profile manager in the world to personally run their own Twitter account.
“I have never considered signing him. We look forward. Hala Madrid.”
Ancelotti’s announcement could make Manchester City the frontrunners to sign Ronaldo before his contract at Juve ends in ten months’ time.
The Premier League champions are hunting for a replacement for club legend Sergio Aguero and appear to be at a stand-off with Tottenham over England captain Harry Kane.
Mega-wealthy City offered Spurs around $108 million for the wantaway goal machine earlier this summer, but Tottenham are said to be holding out for around $206 million.
Having missed Spurs’ 1-0 home win over City in both clubs’ opening match of the season on Sunday, key man Kane returned to training with his teammates on Tuesday for the first time since last season in a development which suggests further progress has not been made on any deal.
A cheaper option for City could be the sensational capture of Ronaldo, whose agent, Jorge Mendes, has offered the 36-year-old to the club for less than $35 million, according to the front page of Italy’s Corriere Dello Sport.
🔊🔛Michael Bridge reports from outside Tottenham’s training ground where Harry Kane is training with the Spurs squad. pic.twitter.com/e69Yd6Cu9Q
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 17, 2021
Ronaldo is an icon at City’s arch-rivals, Manchester United, where he won seven English trophies and the Champions League between 2003 and 2009 on his way to establishing himself as one of the greatest players of all time.
City’s characteristically intricate play lacked a cutting edge against Spurs, and boss Pep Guardiola may feel his patience is waning with Tottenham’s notoriously hard-bargaining chairman, Daniel Levy, over a deal for Kane.
Ronaldo and Juventus face the first fixture of their Serie A season on Sunday at Udinese, where the forward rescued his side from defeat by scoring two late winning goals in May.
The match is the first league game in charge for returning Juve boss Max Allegri.