Fans were probably most excited about a return when the superstar stated at the beginning of the season that he was "sad" at Real Madrid. He was clearly upset at management, and it gave hope to virtually every club around the world that he could be on his way out of town.
Based on the play of the 28-year-old forward, there is almost no price that would be unreasonable for a transfer fee. Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the best two players in the entire world, and has consistently shown the ability to score at an incredible rate.
This past season, the Portuguese star scored 34 goals in 30 league matches, while also adding another 23 in various other competitions for Real. Bringing him to Old Trafford and pairing him with Robin van Persie would make Manchester United one of the top squads in the world and arguably the favorite in the Champions League.
Unfortunately, this dream has hit a snag. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has decided that he will not let his best player go.
According to Stefan Coerts of Goal.com, Perez recently stated that he thinks "Cristiano will end his professional career at Real Madrid."
The president also mentioned that he wanted to make Ronaldo "the best-paid player in the world," according to Lee Bryan of the Daily Mail.
With Jose Mourinho out of the picture, the forward can attempt to have a better relationship with the next coach and do his best to win trophies for the Spanish club.
However, Manchester United does not appear to be giving up on the superstar any time soon. ESPN reports that the historic club is not holding back, either:
United sources have made it known to ESPN that, to counter that, they have detailed two officials to exclusively work on bringing Ronaldo back. It also understood that, having initially bristled at getting involved, Nike is now willing to join fellow sponsors Chevrolet.
The Glazer family want at least one statement signing, or a few purchases of note, to accompany the official unveiling of David Moyes at the start of July.
The problem is, the more time United spend trying to get Ronaldo, the less time they will spend negotiating with other talented players.
United has to first decide what it is doing with Wayne Rooney, and then see if it can acquire other top players like Gareth Bale or Luka Modric. There are plenty of targets available. The key will be completing a transfer for them.
With the chances of re-acquiring Ronaldo at this point looking slimmer by the day, the club would be smarter to focus its resources on improving the roster in other ways.
As currently assembled, Manchester United has enough talent to win the English Premier League for a second year in a row and possibly contend for a UCL title. This means that adding little pieces to the current core could end up being very valuable.
Management should do whatever it takes to make the squad better instead of holding onto a dream.
Rob Goldberg is a member of Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.