Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has admitted Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer from Manchester United was agreed last summer.
Calderon, who stepped down at the Bernabeu midway through last season, stopped short of confirming a pre-contract agreement was in place since last summer but confirmed the £80million deal was always in the pipeline.
"Last season United decided not to do it because they thought it was too early and everyone agreed to do it this season," Calderon told Five Live.
"And I think it's okay for the player - he wanted to come, he said that many times - it's okay for Real Madrid and also for Manchester United, who will get a lot of money for the transfer.
"I think it's going to be big event for Real Madrid, he is one of the best players in the world. He is going to help my former club get titles next season."
It is believed an agreement was in place since last summer for the transfer despite new president Florentino Perez now taking the credit for the coup but Calderon refused to confirm there was anything official.
"Let's say that everyone involved in the operation agreed to do it this season," he said. "That is what I can say. It has happened now, it was a bit early last season."