Man United transfers: Why Cristiano Ronaldo won’t return to Old Trafford

Man United transfers: The Sport Review takes a look at three reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo won't rejoin the Red Devils

cristiano ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Madrid Photo: Soccer.ru/Wikimedia

Ronaldo’s ‘father figure’ Ferguson has retired

Cristiano Ronaldo always spoke fondly of his relationship with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The 71-year-old was responsible for handing the Portugal international his big break in the Premier League, and under the wily Scot’s guidance, Ronaldo blossomed into one of the best players in the world. Ferguson’s support during the initial years of the forward’s Old Trafford career cannot be underplayed. He helped polish Ronaldo into an unstoppable attacking force in the Red Devils side after a petulant start. However, the Real Madrid forward would be working with David Moyes – and not Ferguson – should he return to Old Trafford. For that reason, it’s difficult to see the 28-year-old being lured back to United by the new manager, particularly with a world-class head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, at Madrid.

Unfinished business at Real Madrid

While Ronaldo has undoubtedly been the second best player in the world over the past four or five seasons, the Real Madrid star has failed to topple Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. The former Red Devils star has a La Liga winners’ medal and won the Copa del Rey during a four-year spell at the club but Ronaldo has been thwarted in his attempts to win a second Champions League title. The Sporting Lisbon youth graduate has come close, losing to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in successive semi-finals in 2012 and 2013. With his nemesis Messi winning Europe’s top prize three times at Barcelona, Ronaldo will be desperate to help fire Madrid to a tenth European Cup. Jose Mourinho’s successor Ancelotti has a rich pedigree in the competition, having won it on two occasions with AC Milan.

Can United afford a deal for Ronaldo?

Ferguson, who had previously stated that he wouldn’t sell Madrid a virus, eventually allowed Ronaldo to move to the Bernabeu in a world-record £80m deal in 2009. Ronaldo, now 28, would still command a huge transfer fee – estimated at around £65m – and former Madrid president Ramón Calderón reckons the Red Devils would struggle to come up with the funds. In May, he told talkSPORT: “There are not many teams that could afford to pay him what he deserves and who can pay Real Madrid what they are asking for. There are three clubs – Manchester City, PSG and Chelsea. I don’t think any other club is going to pay that amount of money for a player”. For that price, Moyes would be better served turning his attentions to Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale. Although the Wales international is reported to have a £50m price tag, at 23, the Spurs man still has his best years ahead of him.

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