Laporta Lifts Lid On Why Ronaldinho’s Manchester United Move Fell Through
Ex Barcelona President Joan Laporta has revealed that Ronaldinho Gaucho came close to moving to Manchester United in 2003, but Barcelona swooped for the Brazilian when their move for David Beckham was scuppered.
Barca made a move for the England captain in the summer of 2003, whilst United appaeared to have struck a deal with Paris Saint Germain for Ronaldinho. However, the delicate transfer merry-go-round moved in a different direction and Barca took the two time World Player of the Year instead.
“It was between Beckham, Ronaldinho or [Thierry] Henry," Laporta revealed to Marca. "United told us that they would sell Beckham to us if we won the election as we didn't have the power at that time.
“But they used us and in the end he signed for Madrid. We met at Heathrow Airport and signed a document which said that they would sell him to us if we struck an agreement with the agent.”
Beckham joined Madrid that summer and United bought 18 year old Cristiano Ronaldo to replace him, “However, we didn't manage to do that. We went to Nice and stayed with him and he said he would think about it. We got fed up of waiting on an answer, so we signed Ronaldinho instead."