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2 Sep, 2021 13:53

‘I expected this deal to take place’: Khabib says Cristiano Ronaldo told him A MONTH AGO that he was moving to Manchester United

‘I expected this deal to take place’: Khabib says Cristiano Ronaldo told him A MONTH AGO that he was moving to Manchester United

Former UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed that friend Cristiano Ronaldo told him that his future was at Manchester United a month before the Portugal ace made his emotional return to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo, the newly-crowned top scorer in the history of international football, completed his shock return to the Red Devils this week after after three seasons in Turin with Italian giants Juventus. 

The deal, and in particular the speed at which it was done, caught much of the football world by surprise, particularly given substantive reports that Ronaldo was close to inking a contract with United's arch-rivals Manchester City, a potential move which had caused significant ruction among United's fanbase.

But before the cries of 'Judas!' grew too loud, Ronaldo switched tack and – reportedly due to a telephone conversation with Sir Alex Ferguson – called off the deal with City, instead charting a course to the red half of the city.

This came as a bombshell to most – but not to Nurmagomedov, who stated this week that he was unsurprised at Ronaldo's United homecoming after the five-time Ballon d'Or winner told him several weeks ago that Old Trafford would likely be his ultimate destination. 

"A month ago, he told me that he was moving to Manchester United," Nurmagomedov told reporters at the New Knowledge Marathon in Moscow. 

"I expected this deal to take place. I think that Manchester United is more suitable for him than Juventus. For me, the transition was not a surprise."

Khabib, who is a supporter of Real Madrid, and Ronaldo have maintained a close friendship for several years – with Nurmagomedov revealing this year that they speak "almost every day", when the two compare notes on their respective careers and how to correctly harness motivation.

"We talk many times – almost every day – but when we met we had a conversation about where we got our motivation from," said Nurmagomedov earlier this year.

"He told me that he wants his son to be his successor.

"When Cristiano was a kid, he could only dream of having a simple pair of boots. But his son has everything. He fears that his son will not feel the same hunger, the same will.

"People are guided by that will; feel the desire to achieve things. When you have everything, it’s hard to find the right motivation.

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"When he told me that, I’m not going to say I was surprised, but I enjoyed listening to him. I realized that he’s a person who is not content with one, two or three titles."

Ronaldo's return to Manchester United will see him attempt to add to the three Premier League titles he has already won with the club, while also attempting to add to his personal tally of an incredible FIVE Champions Leagues, four of which were won during his spell with Real Madrid.

And judging by Khabib's overwhelming endorsement of Ronaldo's drive for championships, it seems the Russian suspects the Selecao captain will add even more silverware to his personal trophy cabinet before he hangs up his boots.

Also on rt.com ‘If he moved to England, I’d be interested’: UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov tells pal Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Juventus, avoid PSG