Gary Lineker has revealed Man Utd’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, whom the former England international lives next door to, confirmed the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in his back garden.
The Red Devils pulled out all the stops over the summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replenished his ranks with three superstar signings in the shape of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and, of course, Ronaldo, who rejoined his former club for £17m from Juventus.
Since returning to Old Trafford, 12 years after he left to join Real Madrid, football’s all-time international goalscorer has bagged five goals in just six appearances across all competitions, picking up from where he left off in the North West of England over a decade ago.
It was a spectacular window that also saw Lionel Messi trade Barcelona for PSG, Jack Grealish become the most expensive British player ever, Sergio Aguero leave Manchester City after 10 net-busting years and Sergio Ramos also wave goodbye to Real Madrid.
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Ronaldo’s own move had the appearance of a power-shift in the Premier League, and former England striker Lineker has now revealed one of the division’s most gargantuan transfers actually took place in his back garden, where next-door neighbour Woodward confirmed the deal.
“I’ll put my cards on the table,” Lineker told BBC Sport: “Ed Woodward’s a good friend of mine and he’s my neighbour. He signed Ronaldo when he was in my garden!
“It was awesome. I knew when he walked in and he was on the phone to [Ronaldo’s agent Jorge] Mendes or someone. I hope I’m not giving too much away here, but he did sign him, so… yeah!
“I’ve got a fantastic picture of him on the phone with him in the back garden, which I might share one day with his permission.”
Since returning to Old Trafford, Ronaldo has wasted little time in getting back amongst the goals. Despite playing just four Premier League games this season, one of which was as a second-half substitute, Ronaldo boasts the fifth-highest expected goals (xG) in the division with 3.48, and already has three to his name.
He has also translated that form to the Champions League, where he found the back of the net in the 2-1 reversal to Young Boys and the 2-1 win over Villarreal, in which he netted in the 95th minute to claim Man Utd a famous victory over the Europa League winners.