Ronaldinho Was As Close As Joining Man Utd As Alvaro Morata Right Now!
The Premier League side were convinced they would sign the then-Paris Saint-Germain star in the summer of 2003, but eventually lost out to Barcelona, report the Manchester Evening News.
United lost out, it seems, because Barcelona failed to sign David Beckham.
Laporta had promised to sign Beckham as part of his election manifesto and Manchester United announced a deal was close on the eve of the Catalan becoming the club’s president.
Barcelona instead turned their attention towards Ronaldinho, who was playing for PSG at the time, and famously outbid United for the Brazilian superstar.
“It was between Beckham, Ronaldinho or [Thierry] Henry,” Laporta revealed to Marca. “United told us that they would sell him 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.
“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.”
Ronaldinho went on to become one of the greatest players of his generation at the Nou Camp, winning two La Liga titles and the Champions League in the process.
United, meanwhile, signed Cristiano Ronaldo.