- Manchester United failed in their bid to sign Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic in the summer transfer window from Serie A club Bologna due to a backlash from their fans.
- Erik Ten Hag, who had just taken over at Manchester United, wanted the striker in case Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford due to the club’s failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
- The former West Ham and Stoke City striker has now revealed why the move didn’t happen, citing a different reason to the one publicly revealed after the transfer collapsed.
Bologna and Austria striker Marko Arnautovic has explained why his proposed transfer to Manchester United in the summer failed to materialise.
Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag pushed for a move for the former West Ham forward, who he previously worked with at FC Twente in the Dutch Eredivisie. He wanted the Austrian as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo whose future was uncertain at the time, and also as a player he knew and had Premier League experience.
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Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic reveals why he didn’t join Manchester United to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Emmanuele Ciancaglini
Source: Getty Images
The move did not happen, with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reporting that Manchester United decided against it internally, following fan backlash over Arnautovic’s racist past, where he made a racial slur towards Ezgjan North Macedonia’s Alioski at Euro 2020.
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Arnautovic has now come out to dispel rumors that Manchester United rejected him as he claimed he was the one who rejected the Red Devils and chose to stay at the Serie A club. “Manchester United tried to sign me several times and it was a difficult decision to stay in Italy because my family wanted to return to England,” he told Laola1. “It’s clear to me that the Red Devils are at the top of the universe. And Bologna, as a name, is not. But that’s okay. Everything is calm here, you have time for yourself and no stress. That’s just good for me.”
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Arnautovic stayed at Bologna and has been in good form this season. He has scored eight goals in Serie A, ranking second in the goalscoring table behind only Napoli and Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen. Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, has had an underwhelming start to the season and could terminate his contract and leave the club in January after an explosive interview where he criticized the club’s owners, the facilities and especially the manager Chief Erik Ten Hag.
Ronaldo could be ruled out for the opening game of the World Cup
Sports Brief previously reported that Portugal coach Fernando Santos said Cristiano Ronaldo could be dropped for Portugal’s opening FIFA World Cup match against Ghana.
Ronaldo has had a frustrating first half of the season at Manchester United, where he has found playing time difficult under new boss Erik Ten Hag. This has led to an uneasy situation that could force the 37-year-old’s contract to be terminated in January.
Portugal will open their Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign against Ghana, also in the group are South Korea and Uruguay. This World Cup is Ronaldo’s fifth and could be the last he has played in every World Cup since Germany 2006.