Edinson Cavani has confessed that he would have asked to leave Manchester United last summer if he had known the club planned to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo had spent the summer being linked with a move to cross-town rivals Manchester City and the expectancy was that he would end up there, only for United to swoop in at the last minute and strike a deal to bring the Portugal international back to Old Trafford.
The transfer came out of nowhere, and speaking to ESPN, Cavani admitted he was unsure how to feel about the signing.
"To be honest, the moment it happened, I thought it was good that United signed Cristiano, but knowing about the world of football today, the first thing I did was call my brother [and agent, Walter Fernando Guglielmone] and say: 'Fernando, if this had happened a week ago, I would have asked you to find a new club for me," Cavani revealed.
"That's not because I didn't want to play with Cristiano Ronaldo. Of course not. I had the opportunity to meet him, he's a great professional and scored a lot of goals. That's perfect for a sportsman. But as I say, after years in football, I know how things are these days. That's why I called my brother.
"It was more about understanding the situation. Not because I would lose my place in Manchester, but because there are a lot of things in football today that are different from how they were with other coaches, how it was before, years ago.
"It happened so suddenly. At no time did I have any feeling [that Ronaldo was returning]. I was thinking about the season ahead."
Listen now to 90min's Manchester United podcast, The Promised Land, with Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette. On this week's show they discuss Cristiano Ronaldo's future at the club and the transfer rumours surrounding Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong.
Cavani went on to admit he understands the fans' frustrations towards his injury struggles, which have restricted the 35-year-old to just two goals in 18 appearances this season, but suggested there are other factors which have limited his involvement this year.
"Over time, even regardless of the injuries I've had which have kept me out, I've been through difficult situations this season, different from what I faced last year," Cavani explained. "After a few months, I called my brother again. He said: 'Be positive, Edi. You'll do a good job.
"Everything that has happened has happened, and that's it. Here we are. But my way of thinking and my feelings towards football gave me strength in the first months and from then on... problems with injuries have kept me out. But that's what was going on in that period."
Cavani is set to leave United when his contract expires at the end of the season and the belief is that he is looking to remain in Europe, despite numerous rumours of a possible switch to Boca Juniors in Argentina.
Source : 90min