Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t ruled out returning to Manchester United, reports say. The Juventus star has been linked with a blockbuster return to Old Trafford at a time where Paul Pogba’s future is up in the air. But with Old Trafford chiefs conflicted over what to do with the France international, it remains to be seen what happens.
Ronaldo spent six years at Manchester United between 2003 and 2009, winning three Premier League titles on the spin during that time.
And, in the years since, he’s continued to write his name into the football history books.
Ronaldo spent nine successful years at Real Madrid, becoming Los Blancos’ all-time leading goalscorer, and has shone at Juventus ever since his arrival back in the summer of 2018.
With the Old Lady looking to balance the books in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, however, they’re eager to get the player off the wage bill.
And 90min say Ronaldo hasn’t ruled out a stunning United return this summer.
It’s said that, behind the scenes at Old Trafford, the club’s boardroom are conflicted over what to do with Pogba.
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The France international has just a year left on his current contract and, as of yet, the Red Devils have been unable to strike an agreement over a renewal.
United don’t want to lose Pogba for nothing next season but some within the club’s top brass think he shouldn’t be kept on wages of £400,000-a-week.
That salary would make him the club’s highest earner, dwarfing the £350,000-a-week they give goalkeeper David De Gea.
United also suffered when they gave Alexis Sanchez a similar pay packet upon signing him from Arsenal in January 2018, in a deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan head in the opposite direction.
And there’s a realisation that they may have to get Pogba off the books, now, instead of missing out on some big money.
Juventus are keen to re-sign the France international, five years after he upped and left.
And sources close to Pogba reportedly state the 28-year-old is open to going back to Turin, where he enjoyed the best years of his club career.
United are well-stocked for attackers at present, having the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood in their squad.
But Solskjaer would likely relish the chance to coach Ronaldo, having previously played alongside the Portugal international.
Links to Ronaldo are certainly nothing new.
They came close to re-signing the forward in 2013, according to Patrice Evra, only for Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement to scupper their chances.
“You know, you talk about the hardest moments [in my United career], I would say maybe this is the one,” Evra told club media in 2020.
“Two weeks before that, I remember there was a lot of media saying Ferguson will maybe retire next year, and he said, ‘Patrice, I will never retire. I will be here another 10 years’.
“He then said: ‘My target is I’m 99 per cent sure we will have Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. I just need these two players to win the Champions League again. Ninety-nine per cent.’
“And to be fair, when I speak with Cristiano, I ask him and he said yes to the boss, and was coming to join United. He told me this.”
Evra then revealed how Ferguson’s retirement ended any hopes of Ronaldo coming back, while also devastating players within the dressing room.
“After two weeks, we were in the dressing room waiting,” he said.
“When we arrived at Carrington, I see all those cameras and I was like: ‘Wow, someone has done something wrong. Maybe a player is the story again! Someone has done something wrong, we are in trouble.’
“But we arrived and people said, ‘Guys, you have to stay in the dressing room because the boss wants to have a chat’. And when the boss came into the dressing room to talk to everyone, it’s never good news.
“He came, and he said, ‘I’m really sorry. Some people have said that I’m going to retire even before I say it myself.
“That’s why you saw all those cameras. But I will retire because my wife needs me’. He apologised to [Robin] van Persie, he apologised to Shinji [Kagawa], because he just brought them. He apologised to them especially.”