He is the world best player and one of the greatest players in history. Cristiano Ronaldo has done it all. Three Premier League titles, one La Liga, one FA Cup, two Copa del Rey’s, two Champions League’s and two World Players of the Year titles.
Ronaldo is revered at both Manchester United and Real Madrid, who he has both done so much for, and recently the Portuguese midfielder has set fires by blazing by talking about his love for Manchester United and refused to rule out a move back to Old Trafford.
The recent statement from the 29-year-old has sent online bookmakers into overdrive, with many putting Ronaldo at incredibly small odds to return to Manchester United in the not so distance.
So will we see Ronaldo back in the Premier League?
Well the first thing to consider is cost. Madrid signed him for a then world record £80million and they would be hoping to recoup a significant proportion of that back. As with anything a cost-benefit-analysis will have to be undertaken. Ronaldo would be 30-years-old when United could even fathom making a move. Is £70m for an aging player worth the money? In the case of most players no, but Ronaldo is not most players, he is in the uppermost echelons of football greatness and will still be for the next six years. So for United you wouldn’t think money would be too much of a stumbling block,
Then there is Louis van Gaal. The new Manchester United manager is known for his youthful approach. At Ajax he won the Champions League with a team of youngsters, he brought youth players into the Barcelona set up and the current Bayern Munich side owes thanks to Van Gaal, who amongst other gave Thomas Muller his start, while his youthful Holland side excited at the recent World Cup. Would Van Gaal, a man known for stubbornness, change his mantra of youth and take Ronaldo? Although he has made his name for bringing through youngsters Van Gaal has always incorporated veterans in his side, and what better example could you have for a young player than Ronaldo?
Ronaldo is viewed with the same admiration that United hold fans George Best and Eric Cantona and they would welcome him back to the club with glee, and with Ronaldo finally winning the Champions League with his beloved Real he may want to return to the cooler climes of Britain.
A disastrous season with Real could open negotiations with the Red Devils. Or perhaps an argument with Carlo Ancelotti will push him back into the arms of Old Trafford who you believe will move heaven and earth if they thought they had just one shot at bringing him back to Manchester.
If Ronaldo does not move back to Old Trafford in the next to season will the ship have sailed? If so, United should seek to actively, but secretively, make inroads for their former number seven.