Former Manchester City star Michael Ball insists that Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent may have used the club’s interest in signing him as leverage to negotiate a higher wage at Old Trafford.
City were briefly but heavily linked with a potential bid for the Portugal international, although no deal was struck.
Indeed, United announced less than 24 hours after the first reports of City’s interest surfaced that they had struck an agreement to bring Ronaldo into the club.
He made his debut over the weekend, scoring twice in the clash with Newcastle United, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men won 4-1.
Ball believes that Ronaldo and his representatives ultimately used City as leverage, allowing him to secure a bigger payday at Old Trafford after leaving Turin.
Reports have suggested that United are currently paying the legendary former Real Madrid and Juventus star a wage of close to £500,000-per-week.
The ex-City and Everton man said: “Whether Ronaldo and his agent have used Manchester City to up his wages at United and make the deal happen, using Man City as a pawn, to go ‘you don’t want one of your legends to be going to your main rivals’ and Man United have panicked and come in to give Cristiano whatever he wanted.
“That is an option that I feel is more to the truth than what we’ve seen.”