Gary Lineker reveals Ed Woodward tied up Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return in the Match of the Day host’s GARDEN as he lifts the lid on negotiations between Red Devils chief and Jorge Mendes
United chief executive Woodward – who has come in for widespread criticism from fans throughout his tenure at the club – was instrumental in bringing Ronaldo back to the club, signing off on a £19.8m deal with the Italian giants.
加里·莱恩克 ([R) says Ed Woodward (大号) sealed Cristiano Ronaldo’s return in the Match of the Day host’s garden this summer
罗纳尔多, 36, made a stunning return to Old Trafford, 12 years on from leaving for Real Madrid
And Lineker has lifted the lid on Woodward’s involvement in the Ronaldo deal, revealing that the United chief was tying up the deal with super-agent Jorge Mendes while in the Match of the Day host’s garden.
‘I’ll put my cards on the table – Ed Woodward is a good friend of mine and lives next door,’ Lineker said on the Match of the Day top 10 播客.
‘He signed Cristiano Ronaldo when he was in my garden! When he walked in he was on the phone to Jorge Mendes – I hope I’m not giving too much away!
‘I have a fantastic picture of him sat on the phone to him which I might share one day with his permission.’
United announced Ronaldo’s return on August 27 following a whirlwind 24 hours in which the Portuguese appeared set to join arch rivals Manchester City.
And Lineker says that Woodward was on the phone to Jorge Mendes while in his garden
The 36-year-old has made a fantastic start to his second stint at Old Trafford, bagging five goals in six appearances for the Red Devils.
Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer insisted that Ronaldo’s return was a ‘no brainer’ for United and believes that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are ready to challenge for silverware with the Portuguese leading the line.
‘Man United have not been challenging over the last few years – they’re viewed differently now with Ronaldo and rightly so,’ said Shearer. ‘They are ready to challenge.
Lineker (fourth right) and Woodward (右二) are neighbours and ‘good friends’
‘Signing him was a no-brainer for Man Utd – they cannot lose in this situation. They sold Dan James for £25m and brought Ronaldo in for the same price.’
While Ronaldo’s switch back to United has lifted the mood at the club, Solskjaer’s side have made a mixed start to the 2021-22 campaign and enter this international break having picked up just one point from two home games against Aston Villa and Everton.
The Norwegian dropped Ronaldo for the draw against the Toffees, a decision that long-time mentor and United legend Sir Alex Ferguson has taken issue with.
Ronaldo has made a strong start to his second stint at United, scoring five goals already
In a video posted on retired MMA star Khabib’s Instagram, Sir Alex was seen speaking to the Dagestani fighter after the Old Trafford match and when the topic of the game came up, the Scot said: ‘But I also think that when they (Everton) saw that Ronaldo wasn’t playing, it was a bit…’
Khabib replied: ‘He came on in the second half…’ – but Ferguson dismissed that claim.
The legendary Manchester United manager responded: '我知道, but you should always start with your best players.’