Cristiano Ronaldo was on the verge of returning to Manchester United in 2013, Patrice Evra has told the Sunday Times.
Former United defender Evra -- now with Serie A champions Juventus -- said former Old Trafford manager Sir Alex Ferguson had been "99 percent" sure that Ronaldo would be coming back from Real Madrid.
The French defender said Ferguson had told him the deal was on only days before he revealed he had decided to retire as United manager.
United won the 2012-13 Premier League title but saw their hopes of Champions League glory that season ended by Ronaldo and Real in the round of 16.
Evra said: "I remember we talked maybe two weeks before and he said: 'Patrice, I will be here another five years.'
"He even told me: '99 percent, Cristiano Ronaldo will come.' I was like: 'Wow, we are ready to bounce back and to even win the Champions League again.'"
But any prospect of a move for Ronaldo disappeared when Ferguson then decided to call time on his extraordinary career at United.
Evra, who left the club 12 months later, said the departure of the Scot had had a huge effect on him.
"You know when you are lost and you feel like the world is crumbling? It was a big trauma," he said. "I felt lost."