Bologna Striker Marko Arnautovic Reveals Why He Did Not Join Manchester United to Replace Cristiano Ronaldo

Bologna Striker Marko Arnautovic Reveals Why He Did Not Join Manchester United to Replace Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Manchester United failed in their attempt to sign Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic in the summer transfer window from Serie A club Bologna, due to backlash from their fans
  • Erik ten Hag, who had just taken over at Manchester United, wanted the striker in case Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford over the club's failure to qualify for the Champions League
  • The former West Ham and Stoke City striker has now revealed why the transfer did not happen, citing a reason different to what was publicly revealed after the transfer collapsed

Bologna and Austria striker Marko Arnautovic has opened up on why his proposed transfer to Manchester United in the summer failed to materialise.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag pushed for a move for the former West Ham striker, who he previously worked with with FC Twente in the Dutch Eredivisie.

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Ten Hag wanted the Austrian as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, whose future at that time was uncertain, and also because he was familiar with Arnautovic as a player with Premier League experience.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Marko Arnautovic, Manchester United, Bologna, Austria
Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic reveals why he did not join Manchester United to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Emmanuele Ciancaglini.
Source: Getty Images

The move failed to happen, as it was reported by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano that Manchester United decided internally against it, after fan backlash over Arnautovic's past. He made a racial slur towards North Macedonia's Ezgjan Alioski at Euro 2020.

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Arnautovic has now come out to dispel the rumours that Man United rejected him, claiming it was in fact him who rejected the Red Devils and chose to stay at the Serie A club.

"Manchester United tried to sign me several times, and it was a difficult decision to stay in Italy because my family wanted to return to England," he told Laola1.

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"For me, it’s clear that the Red Devils remain at the top of the universe. And Bologna, as a name, are not. But that’s fine - here, everything is calm, you have time for yourself and no stress. This is only good for me."

Arnautovic has been in fine form for Bologna this season. He has scored eight goals in the Serie A, sitting second on the scorer's chart only behind Napoli and Nigeria's Victor Osimhen.

On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo has had an underwhelming start to the season and could have his club contract terminated in January, Sports Brief reported.

This follows his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, where he criticised the club owners, ten Hag and even the facilities.

World Cup: Ronaldo not guaranteed

Sports Brief earlier reported that Portugal coach Fernando Santos said Cristiano Ronaldo could be dropped for Portugal's opening game at the FIFA World Cup against Ghana.

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Ronaldo has had a frustrating first half of the season with Manchester United, where he has found playing time hard to come by under new boss ten Hag.

Portugal will open their Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign against Ghana. However, Santos has commented that he is not obligated to have CR7 feature in the Mundial.