Al Ahli signs the Brazilian Everton Ribeiro on a contract for 4 years from Cruzeiro pic.twitter.com/qedjfnlO8Q— Al Ahli Club (@AlAhliClub) February 1, 2015
Brazilian midfielder Everton Ribeiro has revealed to the National that he had talks with Manchester United, AC Milan and Monaco before sealing a move to Al-Ahli.
Ribeiro, 25, helped Cruzeiro win successive Brazilian championships during the past two seasons, recording 13 goals and 26 assists in 76 total appearances, while also earning his first three international caps.
His impressive performances attracted the interest of a host of major European clubs last season such as United, per the Daily Mail, and the Premier League club were also in contact this winter over a potential move.
However, such clubs were unwilling to meet Cruziero’s demands, with Ribeiro instead moving to the United Arab Emirates in a reported €9 million deal for 60% of his rights.
Yes, there have been offers both in this transfer window and the last one," he told the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper.
"We had offers and conversations with Manchester United, Monaco and Milan. But none of those offers could meet the expectations of my club Cruzeiro.
"The only offer that everyone was happy with, it was the Ahli offer and that's why I am here. It was the only offer that came close to our expectations."
Having made his Brazil debut under Dunga in September, Ribeiro remains confident that his move to the Arabian Gulf League will not harm his chances of future national team call-ups, insisting that he has had assurances about his place.
“Football is a very global game these days so I don't expect this [move] to be a problem," he said.
"I spoke to Dunga before making a decision and he said 'no problem'. Like I said, football is a global game and you can see any player from anywhere around the world.
"So I am not worried. My job is to just keep performing at the high level that I was performing in Brazil and keep sending reminders to the coach [of the Brazil national team].
"I am coming here after a good season with my club in Brazil and my focus here will be to keep performing at a very high level, keep giving off my best. I want to be just as good here as I was in Brazil."
The winner of the past two Craque do Brasileirao awards as the Brazilian top-flight’s standout performer, Ribeiro could no doubt have made his mark on European football if given the chance, but it looks like potential suitors will have to wait a while before launching another attempt at his signature.
United might not have needed his services this season, given their current plethora of attacking talent, but he still would have proved a worthwhile investment in due time, as oppose to soon-to-depart compatriot Anderson.