Napoli sporting director rubbishes Cristiano Ronaldo links

Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli has denied that the club were in the mix to sign Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.

The 37-year-old was keen to leave Manchester United just one year after returning to the club after they failed to secure Champions League qualification.

Ronaldo was linked with moves all over Europe, though could not find a suitor. Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid publicly distanced themselves from a deal, while Thomas Tuchel ended Chelsea’s interest in the forward.

Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, attempted to find an escape route late into the transfer window, exploring a return to Sporting CP, while Napoli were also said to have weighed up a move.

However, Giuntoli has denied such reports and insisted there was ‘nothing true’ to them.

“He is an extraordinary player, there was nothing true. We have an excellent relationship with Mendes, but there was nothing concrete,” he told DAZN.

Ronaldo was unable to finalise a move away from United and will stay at the club until at least January.

He has started just one of United’s five Premier League games so far this season – their 4-0 loss at Brentford.

This will be the first season in which Ronaldo will not compete in the group stages of the Champions League since 2002/03 – his final year at Sporting.