Every time the names of Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United are put in the same sentence, the British press get excited. Sky Sports, websites, tabloids, radio programmes all latched onto the topic and went beyond the original story that our front cover led with yesterday. Ronaldo’s message has got through (he wants to leave), it appears that Real Madrid are willing to let him go, and the analysis in England is focused not so much on whether United want him in their squad, but rather how they can make it happen. Madrid would love to imagine a fight between PSG and the English club for the most recent winner of the Ballon d'Or. But the reality may be something altogether different.
United find themselves in a delicate position with respect to Ronaldo. They know that he would arrive aged 33, that he would ask for a net annual salary of 50 million euros to equal, as far as is known, that of Messi, while Real Madrid could demand around 100 million euros for the Portuguese player. It’s an almighty expense and that makes it a complicated deal. What’s more, the club cannot show a lack of interest if it is confirmed that the player is indeed on the market, as the owners have promised to battle for the best players in the world, however at the same time, if they accept that they are interested, they’ll unleash a media tsunami, which would soon become uncontrollable. From the club's perspective, they would prefer to sit high in the stands to watch this 'circus'.
Old Trafford reunion
Manchester United have considered the return of Cristiano on several occasions, but this time, the first in nine years, it could be a move that is accepted by both Madrid and the player himself.