The relationship between Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Cristiano Ronaldo could yet force the Portugal icon into the arms of Manchester United, after reports suggested Los Blancos do not believe Paris Saint-Germain want the player but "hope" the Red Devils do.
Rob Draper of the Daily Mail reported the two Bernabeu alpha males' relationship is still in question and Madrid executives have discussed the possibility of selling Ronaldo soon as Gareth Bale emerges from his illustrious team-mate's shadow.
In fact, the dynamic between Bale and Ronaldo has been one of the central stories of the club in recent times.
Perez was infuriated by the fact that Ronaldo dominated the club and their relationship was at such a low ebb that executives discussed selling him this summer, though they believe Paris Saint-Germain will not buy him. They hope Manchester United might.
United are currently in dire straits after losing at Old Trafford to Southampton, providing yet another weak team performance with no bite or substance. The club are quickly dropping out of the picture for a top-four finish in the Premier League as Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City maintain their form.
Ronaldo would provide United with a quick fix for their beleaguered attack, but it is highly questionable whether he would be motivated to link up with manager Louis van Gaal, whose tactics have baffled fans and experts alike.
However, Ronaldo would surely be tempted to join a fresh revolution at the Theatre of Dreams if Jose Mourinho arrives in the north-west, as reported by Paul Hetherington and Harry Pratt of the Daily Star Sunday.
The United board need to make a swift decision regarding the managerial future of LvG if they want to grab Ronaldo's signature and commitment, but they could opt for Ryan Giggs over the self-proclaimed Special One, per Hetherington and Pratt.
Metro's Chris Winterburn commented he believes Mourinho would be the wise option for the Red Devils at this time:
The arrival of Mourinho would immediate change the toxic mood among fans at United and would also open the door for a big-money move for their former winger. Ronaldo will have little interest joining a team that does not qualify for the Champions League, but a three-year project with Mourinho to recapture lost glories at Old Trafford could appeal to his ego.
In other news, United could be set to move swiftly before the end of the January transfer window for Wolfsburg full-back Ricardo Rodriguez.
Mike McGrath of the Sun reported Van Gaal has sent scouts to watch the £20 million-rated Switzerland ace, with Real Madrid also interested in his talents. Rodriguez has a £27 million release clause in his contract, and United's recent injury crisis has left them bereft of full-backs.
The 23-year-old has started 18 matches in the Bundesliga and Champions League this term, according to WhoScored.com, and would immediately inject quality into United's defensive unit.
Here is a video of the player in action:
Van Gaal is at the lowest ebb of his United tenure, and the defeat to Southampton has left him scratching his head as to what to do next.
His failure now mirrors the collapsed stint of David Moyes, the man he replaced, at the helm, with the team unable to respond to the coach's tactics or philosophy.
United have many issues at present, but if a swift managerial change is made—bringing in Mourinho or promoting Giggs—the next course of action will be to buy a superstar player.
Ronaldo fits the profile of the kind of entity the team needs at present, and if he is willing to move in the summer, United should break the bank to bring the player back to England.