Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho says there was a "considerable chance" of Cristiano Ronaldo joining the club this summer.
The Portugal international returned to Manchester United on transfer deadline day last month.
The Red Devils paid an initial £12.9m to re-sign Ronaldo from Juventus, with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner penning a two-year deal with the option of a third.
However, Manchester City were leading the race to sign the 36-year-old forward at one point.
And Fernandinho has revealed that Ronaldo could easily have ended up at the Eithad Stadium rather than Old Trafford.
“I think there was a good, considerable chance," he told ESPN. "I think his agent was here at the club renewing the contracts of Ederson, Ruben Dias, seeing the situation of Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo.
"Obviously, if you're there at the table, you can talk about everything and every possible player.
"I think that a lot of expectations were also raised with the possibility of him coming here.
"No doubt this ends up affecting not only the fans, but also the people inside the club. But in the end, things didn't work out, he didn't close the deal, and ended up going to the red side of town. Life goes on."
United also signed Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in the summer, but Fernandinho thinks City are still the strongest team in Manchester.
"If you're going to compare [the squads] name by name, I think it's very level. Both teams have a very good squad. Perhaps one or the other will wash away a very small advantage.
“But I think that, due to the standard of play, the way we have played for five or six years with Pep [Guardiola], we have a defined standard of play, we know exactly how each player behaves or should behave on the pitch, we know about the quality of each player and how he can play the best role in the matches. Without a doubt, in this matter, we have a little more advantage.
"Having practically the same players since 2017, it's no wonder the club managed to win three titles in the last five. But without a doubt United, due to history, the weight of the shirt, the quality of the players, in a short period of time can reach the level we are at today."
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