Wayne Rooney says former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo would not venture to move to Manchester City this transfer window and destroy his Manchester United legacy, although recent reports suggest such a move is possible, if not likely.
A United legend himself, Rooney won three Premier League titles alongside Ronaldo in the decade leading up to City’s rise to the pinnacle of English football. And as someone who knows Ronaldo well, Rooney “doesn’t see” the Juventus attacker joining the rival organization.
However, Ronaldo is said to be unhappy at Juventus and interested in a change of scenery, and City is one of the few clubs that could afford to pay his wages.
What was said?
“I think Cristiano has a very good legacy at Manchester United and I know how proud he is as a player and as a person,” Rooney told talkSPORT.
“I don’t see him going to City, but it’s football so you never know. There are a few who have done it, but none at the level of Cristiano. Obviously Peter Schmeichel and Andy Cole, but I just can don’t see that as an option for him really.
“Of course he doesn’t have to do it financially. I think he’s more likely to go to PSG.”
Rooney, now the head coach of Derby County, also stressed that under no circumstances would he make a switch to City himself.
“I think you should do what’s right for you as a person, for your family,” he said. “Everyone knows I could never play for Liverpool or Manchester City. That’s clear, but everyone is different.
“I think people move to clubs where they don’t really want to, but from a financial point of view that might be the only option they have, so I could understand it from some people’s point of view.
“But in terms of myself, that just wouldn’t be an option.”
The bigger picture
It’s been more than a decade since Ronaldo last wore United’s iconic red, but many of their fans have continued to cheer him on from afar, first at Real Madrid and then Juventus.
They watched him come of age at Old Trafford – a process that had seemingly ensured that he would always be their golden boy. Now, however, their emotions will be twisted as he possibly joins a top enemy.
Ronaldo moving to City would also mark a second seismic shift in the football world in less than a month after Lionel Messi left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain. A third dramatic transaction could then come if Kylian Mbappe forces a move to Real Madrid.