Given how frequently Manchester United have been teased by the notion of a return for Cristiano Ronaldo, only for the Portuguese to remain at Real Madrid and sign a new contract, you’d forgive the club’s fans for being exceptionally sceptical whenever these rumours rear their ugly head.
It’s not that some of the club’s supporters don’t want their old number 7 back; it’s that they’ve simply been burned too many times by these stories. Ronaldo reportedly came close to signing for the club after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, only to seemingly leverage United’s interest to get a new deal from the Spanish giants, and seemingly, whenever Ronaldo has complained of feeling unloved or agitated for a move away, everything appears to be smoothed over by another pay rise. It’s become part-and-parcel of the transfer window.
With that in mind, it’s hard not to read through former Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello’s comments on the Ronaldo situation with a raised eyebrow.
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s future with Real Madrid? Cristiano wants to return to Manchester United alongside Mourinho,” the former England boss told Sky Sport 24 in quotes carried by Metro. “I think he will eventually leave Madrid to go back to England. When? This I don’t know.”
To be fair, given that Ronaldo’s own mother has been asked to give her opinion on the subject (incidentally, she chose a return to United over a switch to Paris for her son), it’s clear that Ronaldo’s future is the question on everyone’s lips after last weekend’s Champions League final. Zinedine Zidane’s exit has muddied the waters somewhat, with Gareth Bale’s departure potentially on hold with the Welshman’s primary issue being his lack of starting opportunities. That could change under another manager, and Ronaldo could potentially hanker for a return to Old Trafford when Real’s new manager takes over.