Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly given the green light for Cristiano Ronaldo to return to Old Trafford after recent reports indicated the Portuguese superstar is unhappy at Real Madrid.
According to La Sexta's Jose Luis Sanchez (via AS), United have undertaken an economic study on the viability of re-signing Ronaldo, who will turn 33 in February, and have established that despite a potential €400 million (£353 million) outlay on the transfer fee and his wages, the "media impact and marketing potential" would make it a worthwhile deal.
Per Manu Sainz of AS, Ronaldo wants to leave Real because he feels "betrayed" after not being offered the new contract he was promised following the UEFA Champions League victory in June. It is said his preference is to return to United.
His deal at the Santiago Bernabeu runs to 2021, so United would have to shell out a huge transfer fee to persuade Real to sell Ronaldo, potentially around €200 million (£176.5 million), per AS.
In 2017-18, Ronaldo has finally shown signs his skills may be on the wane after more than a decade of almost unrelenting brilliance.
He has netted just four times in La Liga this season as Real have dropped 19 points back from table-topping Barcelona.
However, given Ronaldo made his name at United and helped them win three Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League during his six seasons at the club, most Red Devils fans would likely welcome him back with open arms.
Mourinho is the key man who needs to be convinced, though, and it seems he is open to reuniting with Ronaldo.
The pair enjoyed success together during Mourinho's three-season tenure with Real between 2010 and 2013, as they won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup, but they are said not to have enjoyed the best of relationships.
Per AS, "the passage of time has smoothed over any differences," which will be crucial if Ronaldo is to make a dramatic return to United and work under Mourinho again.