When Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford in March to take on his former club, the superstar was greeted with mostly warm cheers and the kind of camaraderie to suggest another stint with the class of the Premier League might not be out of the question. He would certainly be welcomed back with open arms, especially with Wayne Rooney’s future very much in question.
According to Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail, Manchester United are close to working out a deal to bring Ronaldo back to the fold:
An astonishing day at Manchester United took an incredible twist on Wednesday night when it emerged the club are close to securing the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sportsmail can reveal that outgoing United chief executive David Gill has been in Madrid to meet Jorge Mendes, the Portuguese super-agent who represents the megastar.
Sources on Wednesday night insisted the Barclays Premier League champions are confident of securing the return of the player they sold to Real Madrid for a world-record £80 million in 2009.
Uncertainty at Old Trafford is perhaps the only factor that should keep Ronaldo from openly pining for a return to his old club. Should Rooney be given his walking papers (though Manchester United are unlikely to accommodate that) and the imminent managerial transition cause unrest, the superstar would be entering a murky situation he otherwise would have avoided with an earlier return.
But the benefits grossly outweigh the risk. There simply aren’t enough reasons to not consider a return to Manchester United.
With Real Madrid, Ronaldo has been expected to carry the club on his shoulders, often coming up short in league play without the kind of supporting cast a player like Lionel Messi has in Barcelona. To take nothing away from Madrid, Ronaldo wouldn’t be faced with the same pressure at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils put together yet another tremendous EPL term this year, posting 28 wins and four draws in 37 contests. Much of that success can be attributed to coaching and talent, but there’s something to be said for the continuity that has sustained the club in recent years. New manager or not, that stability isn’t likely to erode.
There isn’t a club in any major league that would balk at the chance to acquire Ronaldo from Real Madrid, despite the hefty price tag that would accompany the superstar’s move. If United are willing to shell out the cash, Ronaldo need not look elsewhere if he decides to walk. He won’t find a better situation to walk into if winning is at the top of his priority list.
And it’s no secret Ronaldo would bring plenty to the table for the Premier League itself. Geographic popularity aside, La Liga has certainly made huge strides in keeping up with the EPL in terms of star power and general popularity. But at its core, the Premier League is the top flight for a reason, and Ronaldo could find himself in a situation to re-energize the league as a premier star and fresh face on which the league can base a major boost.
There’s no guarantee all the pieces will fall in place for such a deal, but all signs are pointing to interest from both parties. If the rumors are any indication, Ronaldo would be wise to entertain the idea, if for no other reason than to finish what he started with one of the most successful clubs in the history of the sport.