It may just be the summer of spectacular returns. Jose Mourinho appears to be seriously in line for a move back to the Stamford Bridge hot seat as manager at Chelsea, but up at Old Trafford, Manchester United may just be preparing to trump that deal by bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United.
Reports in The Sun have said that PSG have fired the starting pistol in the race for the Portuguese striker by making what is described as a ‘substantial offer’ thought to be in the region of £80 million to Real Madrid for his services. Whilst the Spanish club have made no public declaration of any intent to sell – or even listen to offers for their superstar top scorer, noises off stage suggest that a mega-deal may be in the offing.
At the end of the season, Ronaldo will have two years left on his contract, but is thought unlikely to sign a new one, meaning that he can walk away for a ‘no fee’ move at its termination. If the talk of the player thinking his time in the Spanish capital is done, it would be folly for the club to allow this to happen. It’s the kind of event that has Financial Directors throwing themselves off the top of the stadium roof! Now, there’s no independent confirmation of Ronaldo’s musings at the moment, but PSG have either taken a flyer, or have heard a whisper or two.
Over in Manchester, the news of the PSG bid appears to have stirred United into retaliatory action. The very whiff of a possibility that Ronaldo may consider ending his Spanish stay, will be enough for Ferguson to kick a bid process into action. Getting the 287 year old back amongst the Reds, would be the very stuff of dreams. Last month, The Sun also reported that high level talks had taken place between the club and main sponsors Nike to construct a deal that would finance the mega-bid required and the salary that Ronaldo would certainly demand. Although no news has leaked out of whether a package was agreed to fund the deal, it seems certain that the club will ‘find a way’ if the deal is available.
With PSG already having made their intentions known, and off and running with a bid,United will be keen not to be left in the blocks. One thing that may be in United’s favour is that there still appears to be an emotional tie for the player with the Old Trafford club, and that he found English football very much to his liking. It is also high profile enough for him to potentially build a power base of achievements from which he may be able to wrest the Ballon ‘dOr from rival Messi. It’s certainly an accolade that lies close to the Portuguese’s heart and his desire to win it appears to burn fiercely. Playing in Ligue 1 with PSG may not have the same cache as far as the football world is concerned.
It still seems likely that Real Madrid would not sell – at least not now. But with Mourinho poised to walk away in the summer, a rebuilding process is almost inevitable, and some £80 million can fund a lot of player acquisitions for the incoming coach. Should the deal happen and United land the signing that all of their fans crave above all others, not only will it reinforce United’s strike force and illustrate their desire to drive forward, it will also mean that all of the other transfer deals of the summer will be pretty small beer in comparison. It may not happen, but, if it does…….