"When I speak with Cristiano, I ask him and he said yes to the boss, and was coming to join United. He told me this," says Evra
Tuesday 5 May 2020 13:51, UK
Sir Alex Ferguson was plotting a double swoop for Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale shortly before his retirement in 2013, according to former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
The Frenchman, who spent eight years at Old Trafford, has claimed Ferguson told him he was "99 per cent sure" the club would sign the duo in an attempt to win a third Champions League title.
United finished as Premier League champions that season but were knocked out at the last-16 stage in Europe by Ronaldo's Real Madrid - who went on to make the summer signing of Bale from Tottenham for a then-world record £90m.
Speaking to the UTD podcast, Evra recalled a conversation he had with Ferguson.
"He said: 'My target is I'm 99 per cent sure we will have Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. I just need these two players to win the Champions League again. Ninety-nine per cent'," Evra said.
"And to be fair, when I speak with Cristiano, I ask him and he said yes to the boss, and was coming to join United. He told me this."
Ferguson missed out on both his targets and announced he would be ending his 27-year reign at United at the end of the 2012-13 season, which caught Evra totally by surprise.
"After two weeks, we were in the dressing room waiting," Evra added. "When we arrived at Carrington, I see all those cameras and I was like: 'Wow, someone has done something wrong. Maybe a player is the story again! Someone has done something wrong, we are in trouble'.
"But we arrived and people said, 'Guys, you have to stay in the dressing room because the boss wants to have a chat'. And when the boss came into the dressing room to talk to everyone, it's never good news.
"He came, and he said, 'I'm really sorry. Some people have said that I'm going to retire even before I say it myself. That's why you saw all those cameras. But I will retire because my wife needs me'.
"He apologised to [Robin] van Persie, he apologised to Shinji [Kagawa], because he just brought them. He apologised to them especially."