Alex Ferguson: United could have sold Cristiano Ronaldo for £150m
Alex Ferguson has revealed he told Manchester United chief executive David Gill to place a £150 million price tag on Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo joined the Spanish giants in 2009 for what was then a world-record fee of £80million but Ferguson believes Real President Florentino Perez would have paid more than twice that to bring the current World Player of the Year to the Bernabéu
In an interview with Spanish publication AS, Ferguson said: "I told David Gill to ask for £150 million. Perez would have paid."
But the former manager's pleas fell on deaf ears. "The only thing that hurt me, and I said this repeatedly to David Gill, was that we didn't demand enough.
"I told David, 'Ask for £150m.' 'Don't be silly,' he said. 'They'll never pay that.'"
But last summer, Real broke the world transfer record again by spending a reported £85 million on Wales winger Gareth Bale, which prompted Ferguson to ask, 'What if?'
"I still keep asking myself what Senor Perez would have said if we had asked for £150m. Considering they signed Gareth Bale for £85 million, I believe they would have agreed to pay between £80 and £150 million.
"I am sure, because I know that Perez knew perfectly the quality of the player he was getting, as shown by Cristiano's stats at United."
The Portuguese winger, who joined United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, has since gone on to score 238 goals in just 233 games for Real after scoring 91 goals in his final three seasons at Old Trafford.
"That is the only disappointing aspect. If we had got £150 million, I would have kept talking about it for the rest of my life, because it would have been fabulous to receive that amount of money, not just from Real Madrid but from any football club.
"Nevertheless, Cristiano left with my blessing and we received a fair amount."
Antonio Valencia was later signed from Wigan Athletic to provide the width missing from the team once Ronaldo was sold, but it is clear that an adequate replacement has never been found for Ronaldo.