Jose Mourinho reportedly made it clear to Manchester United that he didn't want Cristiano Ronaldo at the Red Devils when he was offered the Portuguese megastar.
The 36-year-old, at the time, was still at Real Madrid, where he had previously worked with Mourinho.
Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford over the summer, but he could have returned earlier in 2018.
Jim White, who was speaking on talkSPORT, revealed details from Ed Woodward's spell as United's Director of Football.
Woodward will finally step aside next month after he initially announced his intention to do so following the fallout from the European Super League last April.
White said: “Over the years there have been many discussions over Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United.
“It might have happened when he finished at Real Madrid, when he was still in his pomp.
“But it wasn’t possible because Jose Mourinho made it clear he at that time had other priorities.”
Ronaldo, instead, moved to Juventus that summer, while Mourinho was dismissed by the Red Devils a couple of months later.
Do you think Ronaldo could have changed United's fortunes if he had joined in 2018? Let us know in the comments section
Ronaldo made his return to United in 2021, and he said: "Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart.
"And I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement on Friday.
"I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again.
"I'm looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead.”
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