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Ronaldo takes one step closer to Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

Cristiano Ronaldo has increased speculation that he is set to leave Real Madrid this summer by refuting claims he has signed a contract extension in Spain.

The 28-year-old has been linked with a move away from Madrid since admitting he was unhappy in the Spanish capital back in September and United fans are set for a summer long tantalising dream of having Ronaldo back home.

“My wish, and that of Cristiano and the Real Madrid fans, is that he plays here for many years to come. And if everyone wants the same thing, it’s difficult for it not to happen. I, Real Madrid, want it; Cristiano, the player, wants it” Florentino Perez

Ronaldo’s ambiguous public admission is unusual given his high profile status and it is more than likely his way of using the media to swing negotiations in his favour, much like when Florentino Perez stated he wanted to make him the highest paid player in the world.

Despite Madrid’s desire to keep Ronaldo, he may well be disillusioned with Spanish football after four years of chasing the Champions League with no success. He has had a tough four years despite scoring a phenomenal 146 goals in 135 appearances and hasn’t looked as happy as he did back in Manchester.

It is likely to be the biggest transfer story of the summer and Miguel Delaney believes that United really are in the running to re-sign Ronaldo.

On paper, the touted price tag upwards of €80 million is out of United’s (and most teams) reach but with Ronaldo, you are buying more than a player.

Nike and Chevrolet, two of United’s main sponsors, would more than likely be willing to part-fund the deal with Nike in particular having a reason to given that Real Madrid is sponsored by Adidas.

Added to the fact that Ronaldo’s return would bring phenomenal marketability back to United as well as the likely on field success if he returns, and the fee seems realistic. Given that United were willing to fork out £30 million on Eden Hazard last year, there is certainly cash available.

If it is about the money, then there is no way that Ronaldo will play for United again but his body language and persona suggest he just wants to be loved again.

His association with United is the biggest pulling tool we have with the likes of big spending Monaco and PSG circling above. Although there is rumoured interest from Chelsea, a link-up with Mourinho again is highly unlikely given his public damnation of Ronaldo’s attitude.

I didn’t think that a move away from Madrid this summer would ever seem a feasible concept but given the current context, I am now starting to believe (ever so slightly) that Ronaldo may well play for United again.

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