CRISTIANO RONALDO and Gareth Bale were close to joining Manchester United in 2013 – before Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement scuppered the plans.
United legend Patrice Evra revealed Sir Alex wanted to re-sign Ronaldo, four years after he left for Real Madrid in a then-record £80million deal.
And the legendary Red Devils boss also worked on trying to land Gareth Bale from Tottenham at the same time.
But then Ferguson – who had just won the Premier League title – was forced to confirm to his players that he would in fact be retiring.
With that went United's hopes of landing the pair, especially Ronaldo who was keen, and wrecking what would have been a stunning attack as they combined with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
Former left-back Evra said on the UTD Podcast: "I remember there was a lot of media saying Ferguson will maybe retire next year, and he said, 'Patrice, I will never retire. I will be here another ten years’.
“He then said: 'My target is I'm 99 per cent sure we will have Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. I just need these two players to win the Champions League again. Ninety-nine per cent.’
“And to be fair, when I speak with Cristiano, I ask him and he said yes to the boss, and was coming to join United. He told me this.”
As a result, Bale joined Ronaldo at Real Madrid in a world-record move, winning four Champions Leagues together with Los Blancos.
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