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Cristiano Ronaldo very nearly signed for Arsenal before his 2003 move to Manchester United, according to his agent Jorge Mendes.
Even Mendes thought that Ronny was poised to become a Gunner, but the deal apparently fell through because the club were too skint, having spent so much money on building the Emirates Stadium, which eventually opened in 2006.
“There was a moment in which I really thought he was going to Arsenal,” Mendes wrote in his new book, The Key to Mendes.
“[Former Arsenal vice-chairman] David Dein is a spectacular person but, with the construction of their stadium, they were left with very little money and it wasn’t possible.”
After joining United, Ronaldo scored 84 goals in 194 Premier League games, mostly playing as a winger.
He moved to Real Madrid for £80m in 2009 and he has netted 205 times in 165 La Liga matches to date.