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Working on another transfer deal, Sir Alex? Legendary former United boss Ferguson meets Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ed Woodward and David Gill for meal in Manchester after playing huge part in Cristiano Ronaldo's £19.8m return

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-09-09

Sir Alex Ferguson met up with current Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward at a club luncheon on Thursday afternoon.

The legendary United boss played a key role in convincing Cristiano Ronaldo to return to Old Trafford in a £19.8million deal from Juventus in the summer transfer window.

Now the Scot has met up with the current manager and soon to be departing vice-chairman at The Ivy in Manchester's Spinningfields, and was also joined by other members of the club's management and board.

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Sir Alex Ferguson met up for lunch with Manchester United's staff and hierarchy on Thursday
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Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joined Ferguson at The Ivy in Manchester's Spinningfields

United technical director Darren Fletcher, former chief executive David Gill and club director Mike Edelson also made their way to the lunch as United gear up to return to Premier League action on Saturday.

Manchester Evening News report Woodward was the only member of the attending party to enter via staff entrances at the side of the building rather than the main entrance.

The meeting of the manager and the hierarchy comes after Solskjaer's playing squad engaged in a team-bonding evening at the same venue last month, just days before their thrashing of Leeds United on the opening weekend of the season.

Goalkeeper David de Gea was forced to take a taxi home after his car was clamped, while Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho were all spotted attending too.

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Departing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was also pictured attending the lunch
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Club director Darren Fletcher joined with just a few days left until the Premier League restarts

But it is not the first time in the recent past that Ferguson has been spotted dining with those associated with the club, after sharing a meal with his former defender Patrice Evra earlier this month.

And no doubt the return of Ronaldo would have been high on the list of discussion topics at both lunches, with the Portuguese in line to make his debut against Newcastle or next week against Young Boys in the Champions League.

But Ronaldo revealed what an influence Ferguson had on his return, telling the club's official website after re-joining: 'As everybody knows, since I signed for Manchester [United] at 18, Sir Alex Ferguson was the key.

'I remember when we played against Manchester when I was at Sporting Lisbon.

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Former chief executive David Gill (right) was also spotted at the same venue for the lunch

'For me, Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father in football for me. He helped me a lot, he taught me many things, and in my opinion, of course, he had a big role because the relationship that we had, we keep in touch all the time, and he's an unbelievable person.

'I really like him a lot and he was the main key for me to be in the position that I am, that I signed for Manchester United.'

Ferguson may therefore have passed a few tips on to Solskjaer - a former United team-mate of Ronaldo - on how to get the best out of the Portuguese.

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Ferguson played a crucial role in helping to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Man United

And while their relationship will now be different with the Norwegian - who signed a new three-year deal at Old Trafford over the summer - now boss of the club for three years, Ronaldo insisted he will be there whenever he is needed.

'As you know, I played with him or two or three years at Manchester United so I have a good relationship with him but now with a different role, I'm a player and he's a coach,' Ronaldo added.

'But it doesn't matter, my relationship with him is great and as I say before, I'm there in Manchester to help the team achieve his results and the coach can count on me for whatever he wants.'

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