Cristiano Ronaldo Transfer Rumours: Manchester United in Talks with Star's Agent

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 27, 2021

Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Young Boys and Juventus at the Stade de Suisse stadium on December 12, 2018, in Bern. - Juventus finished at the Group H summit ahead of Manchester United despite slumping to a 2-1 defeat by Young Boys in Bern, as Manchester United lost at Valencia. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester United has reportedly decided to challenge Premier League rival Manchester City in the race to sign Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who played at Old Trafford from 2003 through 2009.

Ed Aarons and Fabrizio Romano of the Guardian reported Friday that United have opened talks with Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes. City have been heavily linked to the forward but haven't made a formal offer ahead of Tuesday's summer transfer window deadline.

Although Ronaldo started his career with Sporting CP in his native Portugal, his transformation into a football legend kicked into overdrive after his arrival at United in 2003.

The dynamic attacking threat recorded 118 goals across 292 appearances for the Red Devils, including 42 during the 2007-08 campaign, providing a glimpse of what was to come at Real Madrid.

Ronaldo joined Los Blancos in 2009 and proceeded to score at least 50 goals six times during his nine-year stay at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner remained a force following his move to Juve in 2018, scoring 33 goals in 39 appearances between Serie A and the Champions League last season.

Now the question is where the 36-year-old will land after Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri revealed Friday that the forward had expressed his intention to leave the club.

"Yesterday, Cristiano told me that he no longer has any intention to play for Juventus," Allegri told reporters. "For this reason, he will not be called up for tomorrow's game."

Romano reported City had stopped negotiations with the Portugal international, and he also noted United are growing "confident" in securing a reunion.

It would be quite a coup for the Red Devils, who would not only land a player who's still capable of carrying an attacking unit on his shoulders but also keep him away from their crosstown rivals.

City don't lack star power in attack, with Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres among manager Pep Guardiola's options, but Ronaldo could have made the group borderline unstoppable as the club seeks its first Champions League triumph.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo would join Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho in United's attacking unit if a deal is finalized.

It's unclear whether any other European giants plan to join the Ronaldo sweepstakes before Tuesday's transfer deadline, but it appears United are in the driver's seat.


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