It’s the dream for almost every Stretford Ender. Chelsea have Mourinho back, but the Red Devils are pining for the return of their own 'Special One' and it still may happen. It’s understood that the club are in contact with the player’s representatives, and have received encouragement from them that Ronaldo is interested.
This is the sort of game that Real Madrid usually plays. Letting a player know of their interest in him, before launching a bid, is very much a well-trodden path for the club. They did before they secured the signing of Ronaldo, and they’re engaged in a similar strategy now with Tottenham'’s Gareth Bale. Being on the receiving end however, will not be to their taste.
United feel they have a chance for a number of reasons. Firstly, there remains the uncertainty surrounding Madrid as to who the new manager will be and how he will reshape the team. Whilst Ronaldo will be sure of his place, he’ll need to be convinced that sufficient investment and impetus will be added to move the club forward. Secondly, it appears that the player is reluctant to sign a new contract at the Bernabeu. With two years to run, if that situation persists until the end of next season, the club could face losing their best player for a relative pittance compared to the fee he would command today. Thirdly, it’s also understood that kit sponsor’s Nike would be part of the financing of the deal. An opportunity to steal a player of Ronaldo’s calibre away from Adidas-sponsored Real Madrid would do wonders for their prestige – let alone the shirt sales.
Real Madrid however will be less than keen to see Ronaldo leave. Club president, Perez has already declared his intention to make the player the best paid in the world, and money will be thrown at all requirements. This however may not be enough, and United will be encouraged by news that Ronaldo has apparently put his house in Madrid on the market. Such talk however should carry a government ‘gossip’ warning, and I've yet to see independent confirmation of that.
Will it happen? Well, there’s certainly the will on the United side, and should the deal go through, hat better way for new manager David Moyes to endear himself to the Old Trafford faithful. It also appears that the player isn't adverse to the plan, and a return to England could be the platform to push his claims for the as yet unattainable Ballon d’Or that he craves. But what of Madrid? As mentioned above, in an ideal world, they want a new contract signing. That’s not the world we live in at the moment however, and unless Ronaldo puts pen to paper that’s the way it is.
Madrid’s pursuit of Bale however could just be their 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card. Sure, at this stage, no-one is saying that Bale is on Ronaldo’s level, but he’s also five years younger and has potential to grow. It might be a difficult ‘sell’ to the fans that losing Ronaldo and gaining Bale is a good deal, but if United pull the coup off, it could be the line that Perez has to pedal.