Kounde to Man Utd latest, Wilson set for late Liverpool exit, Clyne to join Crystal Palace – The Sun



Liverpool boss Gerrard Houllier “almost choked” when Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of them in 2003.

The Merseyside giants believed they were on track to sign the Portuguese star for £4million.

Phil Thompson, who was Houllier’s assistant, told The Athletic: “For an 18-year-old, that was a lot of money.

“But Tony said it was negotiable and I thought, ‘Jesus, these lot really are trying to push him out of the door’.

“We were keen, the boy was obviously a great talent.”

Before he added: “I will never forget what happened next.

“On the Tuesday morning, we were having lunch at the training ground and it came up on the yellow strap on Sky Sports, ‘Manchester United have signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £12.2m’.

“Gerard and myself almost choked on our food. I can remember Gerard jumping up and saying, ‘What the hell has gone on here?’”

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