Rumours of Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to Old Trafford have gathered pace with a number of well-respected sources claiming that the Portuguese superstar is unhappy in Madrid.
Ronaldo, who left United in the summer of 2009, has according to Spanish publication AS rejected Real Madrid’s advances over a new deal with his current contract due to expire in just two years’ time.
While the article made no mention of an apparent link to United, it suggested the two parties were ‘not at all close’ to each other’s demands. The 28-year-old is of course managed by the enigmatic Jorge Mendes, who is a notorious hard bargain driver, and will likely settle for no less than a record-breaking salary for his most high-profile client – something that president Perez has suggested could happen.
Long-running fanzine United We Stand went even further though by suggesting that David Gill and other club officials had worked tirelessly in a bid to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford and the publication, edited by the very well-respected Andy Mitten claimed the former Ballon d’Or winner was unhappy in Spain and “misses United like crazy.”
“We are reliably informed that United agreed in principle to rejoin the club this summer. By the time this mag is published, we might know more and we might well look foolish, but it is our understanding that Fergie’s shock announcement that he was to call it a day left Ronnie having second thoughts. Hence David Gill’s mad dash to Madrid on the morning after Fergie’s decision was formerly announced. The player is not happy in the Spanish capital and has told friends he misses United like crazy. We’ll see. United have put a lot of time and effort into this so they won’t be willing to walk away with a bloody nose very quickly.” United We Stand
The column is written anonymously but could have been written by Mitten, who has worked in Spain and likely has a number of established contacts there, not to mention his connection with the club established over more than 20 years ago.
The forward clearly shares a deep affinity with United where he spent six glorious years and admitted after the two sides met that he found it extremely difficult to play against his former club, even attributing his subdued performance to being more than a little over-awed by the occasion.
Change will of course be afoot at both United and Real Madrid this summer. The post-Mourinho era will likely see a clear out at the Bernabeu while David Moyes is already putting his stamp on proceedings at Old Trafford with plenty of back room changes.
Obviously, Ronaldo will feature in the new coaches plans (which appears to be a toss-up between Ancelotti and Jupp Heycknes) – that goes without saying, but the changes could unsettle an already rather fragile Ronaldo.
From the clubs point of view, a potential deal may not make a great deal of sense. Realistically, the signing would be pretty unnecessary and could put the club in financial strife in the future. Furthermore, United already have a more than adequate focal point of the team in the shape of van Persie and re-signing Ronaldo would require a completely fresh tactical approach.
Rumours though have suggested that the clubs wealth of sponsors would be inclined to cough up and pay a sizeable chunk of Ronaldo’s transfer fee and wages, which is feasible as it would bring in vast amounts of inward investment. It certainly would be an interesting quandary if Ronaldo declared his intentions were to leave the Spanish capital.
When Ronaldo left in the summer of 2009, we said our goodbyes to a player who I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest is one of the best ever and certainly the most talented player ever to grace the Premier League. However, was this goodbye forever? There are signs that maybe it isn’t.
There is little question that Ronaldo would improve the playing squad, that goes without saying – his goal-a-game strike rate is only matched by one person -but at what cost would his arrival come at?