On a dramatic day of twists and turns, United released a statement shortly before 5pm to confirm that they had reached an agreement with Juventus to sign the Portugal international, subject to him passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.
Earlier in the day it appeared destined that Ronaldo — who said his goodbyes to his Juventus team-mates on Friday morning — would be joining United’s rivals Man City.
However, in a remarkable turn of events, following a discussion between Sir Alex Ferguson and Ronaldo, United struck a deal with Juve to bring the immensely popular and talented 36-year-old back to Old Trafford.
The impending arrival of the former Real Madrid man has, of course, been met with a wave of excitement and attention. And while Ferdinand is delighted to see his former team-mate returning to Old Trafford, he has lavished the club’s board with praise for getting a deal done so quickly and efficiently.
“There was no looking over their shoulder, there was no hesitancy about it.
“You have to understand that when someone like Ronaldo comes on the scene and there is an opportunity for him to come to a football club and continue his legacy and continue his history at this football club, if Man United had let that slip through their fingers, and for him to have gone across the city to the other side, you would have had to have had security 24/7 around the clock at the stadium, let alone the houses of some of the people involved in that.
“Listen, there has been a lot of criticism that has been pointed at different people in the hierarchy at Manchester United at whatever period of time it is.”
As well as hailing the hierarchy’s work to get a deal in place, Ferdinand also outlined just what Ronaldo will bring to United.
“In this situation they have performed perfectly in what they have done, because Ronaldo coming to town… this is the hottest ticket in town. There is no hotter ticket around,” Ferdinand added. “I don’t care where you look in Europe, in the world, the hottest ticket is at Old Trafford.
“That is what Ronaldo brings. The attention on the club, the attention on other players. I mean, you cannot put into words what this is going to do for the dressing room, for the fan base… wow.”