Carlos Queiroz, Manchester United’s Portuguese assistant manager, has reiterated the club’s desire to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to change his mind about wanting to join Real Madrid.

“Manchester United is very special,” Queiroz told the Portuguese radio station Renascenca. “Because of that we know how to surround Cristiano completely with all the affection and all the attention he deserves. However, not speaking is the most sensible course of action at this moment, so that we don’t contribute to a less than positive spectacle and so we don’t aid those whose interests are difficult to identify.”

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Arsène Wenger has revealed how close he came to signing Cristiano Ronaldo and suggested with some mischief that the player himself ought to tell the story of how he almost chose Arsenal over Manchester United.

“I knew about him, yes,” said Wenger. “We were very close (to signing him). Manchester United had a partnership with Sporting Lisbon when (the assistant manager) Carlos Queiroz came in – that made the difference.

One day I will tell you more about the story and you will be surprised. You will have to ask him (Ronaldo) how close it was. We had him here. He was here much earlier. He could tell you that if he wants.”

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