In fact, the recent comments from Real Madrid president Florentino Perez that aimed to, I assume, diffuse this talk really only indicates that the speculation will very likely will be around for the long haul.
Speaking to Spanish national radio, with the quote provided by ESPN, Perez had this to say about his star:
He has two years of contract left. He is happier every day here. He has no wish to leave Real Madrid and wants to end his career here. He wants to go into history as someone very important at Real Madrid.
I am sure Ronaldo would like to go down as someone very important in Real Madrid's history. However, does anyone think he wouldn't also like to go down as someone very important in Manchester United's history?
He certainly has the chance to pursue either path.
If Ronaldo were to return to Manchester United, the Red Devils fanbase would go absolutely nuts. If Ronaldo were to play anywhere near the amazing level he's been maintaining, he would be an absolute legend. He would be the native son returning to bring more glory to the club that helped him develop.
Just check out the joy with which Manchester United fans greeted Ronaldo when he made a return appearance at Old Trafford earlier this year:
With the kind of money and prestige Manchester United carry, and the relationship between their fans and Ronaldo, his return cannot be counted out. In fact, in my mind, this move is more a question of when and not if.
There are signs pointing to the possibility of this happening sooner rather than later. Check out Sky Sports Pictures' tweet of The Star’s sport page:
I have no idea how much merit there is to this report, but it certainly is a possibility worth pondering. However, what seems even more likely is the possibility presented by the above linked ESPN story. Citing a report in the Spanish paper El Pais, ESPN said:
...should Ronaldo see out the final two years of his contract at Madrid, United would offer him a €50 million signing on bonus plus the expected huge salary to return to Old Trafford in summer 2015. The player and his agent Jorge Mendes were set to meet with United representatives soon to discuss this possibility.
Again, I have no idea if this is true or not, but it certainly makes a ton of sense. If I had to place a wager on what would happen, this just mentioned option would get my vote.
Still, there is no real front-runner on what Ronaldo's future will hold. However, one thing is becoming clear: Unless he actually does sign with the Red Devils, his possible return to Old Trafford can never be counted out.