Manchester United goalkeeper Lee Grant jokes Red Devils stars would have DEFACED Cristiano Ronaldo mural in club gym had he joined rivals City… before completing sensational £19.8m Old Trafford return
- Cristiano Ronaldo completed a shock £19.8m Man United return on Tuesday
- The Portuguese star was briefly set for a shock move to rival Manchester City
- Lee Grant joked United stars would have defaced a Ronaldo mural in their gym
- The back-up goalkeeper says United stars are getting giddy over Ronaldo’s move
Manchester United goalkeeper Lee Grant joked that some Red Devils stars would have vandalised a mural of Cristiano Ronaldo in the club’s training ground had he joined arch-rivals City.
Portuguese icon Ronaldo secured a sensational return to Old Trafford from Juventus on transfer deadline day for £19.8million – 12 years after ending his first successful stint with the club under Sir Alex Ferguson.
United’s fierce rivals Manchester City were offered the chance to sign Ronaldo as well by the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, and Pep Guardiola’s side appeared to be in pole position to sign the 36-year-old before United stepped in.
Lee Grant (left) joked some Manchester United players would have defaced a mural of Cristiano Ronaldo (right) had he joined arch-rivals City
The club have a large image of Ronaldo in the club gym (above) the stars train in every day
And United back-up goalkeeper Grant claims the players were joking about what they would do to a large image of Ronaldo in their gym had he moved to the Etihad Stadium.
Speaking to talkSPORT about how the United players reacted to the Ronaldo saga, Grant said: ‘As usual with these things, the players are the last to know. The news was strange as coming into the training ground, there was a lot of talk about the possibility of him heading to the other side of the city.
‘We’ve got a huge picture of Cristiano in our gym and a few of the players were having a little bit of a laugh and joke about what might happen to that mural if he dared venture to the blue half of the city.
‘That was an interesting conversation and then to see how quickly things moved during the day. It was incredible news.’
City were offered the chance to sign Ronaldo by his agent and were briefly in pole position
The completed deal for Ronaldo is a real statement of intent from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side that they are ready to mount a serious title challenge to take the Premier League crown away from rivals City.
The transfer window has also seen the Red Devils complete deals for £73m winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and a £41m deal for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
Grant claims, however, that the signing of Ronaldo has added a different level of excitement to the United team, with even the senior players struggling to hide their eagerness to start training and playing with the Portuguese star.
‘The excitement is palpable, not just with the younger players,’ Grant added. ‘The thing that struck me and made me realise this is huge is actually the reaction of our more senior players.
Grant (middle) says United’s players are very excited at the prospect of working with Ronaldo
‘If Lee Grant is excited, and thinking the impact that is going to have on me and my training and the level I’ve got to bring, imagine what that is going to do for our more senior players.
‘I was at the nursery picking up one of my children and one of the guys – one of our more senior players – to see the look on his face and his excitement, bordering on giddiness at the fact we’ve been able to bring Cristiano in was a real eye opener for me.’
Ronaldo is currently on international duty with Portugal ahead of two World Cup qualifiers with Ireland and Azerbaijan, alongside a friendly against Qatar, but could make his second United debut against Newcastle on September 11.