Ronaldo rumours gather momentum

Until now it has been viewed as romantic speculation. The idea of Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United seemed nigh on impossible. For one, the cash involved in bringing him back to England would preclude all but perhaps the limitless new money of Manchester City and Chelsea. Both would surely pay the price required for the all but guaranteed success that The Portuguese would bring. But Manchester United fans retain the hope that loyalty will prevail to stop him joining either of those clubs.

The other major factor is whether Ronaldo would be prepared to leave the club, that he has always stated as his favourite, in order to return the drizzle of Manchester. Well, to add weight to the rumours, the broadsheets are now getting involved. The Independent has seen fit to go with a story which suggests that Manchester United are looking into the cost of bringing one of their most celebrated players back to the club.

The Independent stokes the fires by using a Fergie quote from the recent past.

“You never know. He may want to go to another club at some point and I’d hope he would want to come here.”

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So is it feasible? Could we really see Ronnie back at Manchester United next season? Well, Ronaldo is the most successful Real Madrid player of the last decade. You could argue that Zidane was the last Real player who was anywhere near as good. 185 goals in 183 games tells its own story. So, in all likelihood, Real won’t want to sell. But the will of the player is most important these days. You do sense that Ronnie may now wish to alter previous declarations about wanting to spend the rest of his career at the club. When asked recently about his future he was more ambivalent. He told reporters that, despite being happy in Madrid at present, he may not be there forever.

“The future? I don’t know — only God knows the future”

He perhaps seems a little bit disenchanted at Madrid in the same way that Mourinho is. The concern here is that Jose will try to take Ronnie with him to his next club. With Fergie telling reporters that he’s staying on at Manchester United for a while yet, it’s likely that Jose will go to either PSG or Chelsea. Both would love Ronaldo. Indeed, both might see the signing of Jose Mourinho as their best chance of signing Ronaldo.

Finally, the money. With Ronaldo, it’s not just the transfer fee that you have to consider. He makes well in excess of £1m per month. Most clubs don’t turnover that amount. Manchester United could probably afford to do it but would they be prepared to invest that much for a player not too far away from his 30s?

Unless Manchester United buy Ronaldo towards the end of his contract, on a relatively cheap deal, a transfer still seems very unlikely. In our opinion, Manchester United wouldn’t be prepared to go much over £40 on a transfer fee. Furthermore, that sort of money would probably be enough to bring the much younger Gareth Bale to the club. This might be regarded at Old Trafford as a better long term investment for Manchester United.

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