Most of us have been taking the Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United rumours with a large pinch of salt so far, but a new report from Spanish outlet AS is making everyone sit up and listen.
The world’s greatest footballer is still prolific at 36 years of age and is unsettled at Juventus, according to various reports.
And with one year left on his contract, there is a clear possibility he may decide to move on now rather than sit out the extra year in Turin.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United are ready to join their paths 12 years on,’ AS claims.
‘The English club has already conveyed to the Portuguese star their interest in signing him, and he welcomes returning to Old Trafford.
‘Never before has Cristiano considered so seriously the option of returning to the club he left in 2009 to sign for Real Madrid.
‘Solskjaer himself has already spoken with him to explain the project and how important his return to Old Trafford would be for the club.
‘In this way, the Red Devils fans would see their dream of seeing the “prodigal son” back home.’
The 36 year-old, who is currently earning around £520,000 per week at Juventus in Italy, is reportedly almost certain to leave Turin if Juve fail to qualify for the Champions League, which will be decided tomorrow evening.
For their part, Juventus may be more than willing to let the Portuguese legend leave due to the strain that his salary is putting on their finances.
‘Without the Champions League, Juve would gladly accept the operation, although they would ask for €25 million [£21m], or will try to organize some bartering with United,’ AS reports.
‘If the Turin club qualifies for the [Champions League], there is still an option that the Portuguese can continue in the Vecchia Signora. Otherwise, the chances of the star staying in Italy are nil.
‘In either scenario, seeing Cristiano at Manchester United next season is the most feasible option right now.’
The issue for Ronaldo is his age and length of contract. It will be much harder for him to get a good salary in a year’s time when he is 37, whereas now, he is still a force and so a club may be willing to offer him a two or even three year deal at a good rate to see out the rest of his career at the top.
‘If Juve do not offer guarantees, Cristiano sees the Red Devils as a nice way to start closing the circle of his legendary career,’ the outlet continues.
‘Cristiano … will agree to reduce his salary so that it does not pose a problem.
‘In the Premier League, he could have a couple of seasons as a protagonist in a club that aspires to win everything, choosing a favourable environment also for his family and his children.
‘Then, as a culmination, Cristiano’s idea is to hang up his boots where he started, at Sporting de Portugal.’