Ex-Manchester City star Stephen Ireland has claimed that former boss Mark Hughes rejected the opportunity of giving Ronaldo and Thiago Silva a trial at the club.
At the time, City were putting in the foundations of Premier League domination, paving the way with the signing of Real Madrid superstar Robinho. As well as shattering the British transfer record, the Brazilian’s arrival was a major statement that certainly put the entire football world on notice.
Robinho pitched the idea of ‘El Fenomeno’ himself joining him in City’s frontline, with current Chelsea star Silva partnering Vincent Kompany at the back. Unfortunately, Hughes wasn't having any of it.
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“I can remember when he came in, after a couple of days he told Mark Hughes to sign Ronaldo, who was a free agent at the time, and he also told him to sign Thiago Silva, because he was available for £2.5m,” Ireland exclusively told ‘Ladbrokes: Fanzone’.
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“I think he was playing in Brazil at the time and would've been around 23. Mark Hughes said no, he said we had too many Brazilians in the team with Elano and Jo playing for us.
“I remember when Robinho was talking about it, I was just walking around the training complex just saying to anyone who'd listen, ‘imagine what it would be like if Ronaldo comes here? Imagine?’ He must've been up for it himself because otherwise I don't think Robinho would've asked the question to Mark.”
At the time, Ronaldo was in the twilight years of his astonishing football career, while Silva was barely getting the motor running on his illustrious footballing journey. And Robinho even offered to play the role of B&B host if they were offered an opportunity on the blue side of Manchester.
“When Mark went back to him and said no, Robinho said ‘right, bring them both in on trial. Bring them in for two weeks, they can come and stay with me, just give them two weeks. We're talking about Ronaldo and Thiago Silva’… and Mark Hughes said no again!
“I just wanted to see Ronaldo in the flesh… and even Thiago Silva; imagine if he'd have signed for City? You'd have had him and Vincent Kompany at the back, could you imagine that?”
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