When Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi bought City, Ronaldo's name was said to feature on their wish-list, a dazzling menu of players for whom the club were allegedly ready to make money-no-object offers.
"I think it included me!" Ferguson hooted. "They didn't know I'd retired.
"It included everybody else. It was like a Christmas list that kids write saying they want this and that. In my day you took what you got."