Football can often move at an incredible pace, but as the transfer market reaches its natural end it is common to see huge moves take place. Normally, such moves would simply not be possible – this summer, though, many teams are looking to rebalance the books. The Premier League has a leg-up in that most of its sides are better insulated from financial shortfalls than other major leagues. As such, the English leagues largest clubs can often pick up deals that simply would not be possible.
The latest megadeal to hit English shores appears to be one that seems to be beyond the dreams of most Manchester United fans. After more than a decade away from the club, Cristiano Ronaldo is set to return. The Old Trafford side have acted quickly to arrange a deal after the Portuguese made clear he wished to leave Italy and Juventus. A move to Manchester City was briefly mooted, and for a few days it even appeared like it could happen.
City, who have been on the lookout for a new star centre forward all summer, always felt like a strange choice. The style of play adopted by Josep Guardiola is out of kilter with how Ronaldo plays the game. City, too, are also looking to refresh their squad with younger names as opposed to a veteran. Harry Kane was seen as a clear exception due to being in his prime years. When the deal could not be done, though, City soon moved on to exploring other targets.
Ronaldo was briefly looked at, but the look now have moved on. United, though, appear to have acted almost in fear of losing a club legend to their city rivals. Given their financial power, though, the deal is completely doable.
What has been said about a return to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo?
The discussion has gathered pace incredibly fast, with the move going from a talked about paper round-up rumour to a genuine possibility in a matter of hours. City have officially pulled out, and look highly unlikely to reconsider with such little window time remaining. United were, by their standards, finished for the window barring a major move – the Red Devils, though, have a habit of acting when a deal that cannot be turned down happens.
At 36, some might worry the Portuguese is no longer the star he once was. However, the wording from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should make clear to all United fans that this is a positive move. Speaking coyly about a potential return, the United manager said: “I don’t want to speculate too much. Cristiano is a legend of this club, he is the greatest player of all time. He’s such a tremendous human being so let’s see what happens with him; everyone who’s played with him will have a soft spot for him.”
With the dule being left on the table, then, it looks like Juventus might move on from what has been a complex period for the club. United look set to swoop, then, and bring back the face of the 2000s era United back to the club for one last hoorah.