There is speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Madrid to return to Manchester United soon
What could be an ideal Christmas present for a Manchester United, apart from Liverpool being positioned below United in the Barclays Premier League table?
It would undoubtedly be the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. However, pundits feel that this may not happen so soon, but will surely take place. Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reckons 'everything is in place' for CR7 to make a comeback at United. We put together 3 main reasons why this could happen in the coming transfer window(s):
1. Ronaldo is clearly unhappy at Real Madrid with the departure of his close peers Mesut Ozil to Arsenal (2013), Xabi Alonso to Bayern Munich (2014) and Angel di Maria (2014). Real Madrid's performance so far in the La Liga has been dismal (placed 13th with only 1 win in 3 games) partly due to the exit of Xabi and di Maria. There is a sense of disbelief in Real Madrid's intent this season and Ronaldo certainly wouldn't like to play for a club on a decline. United on the other side is re-inventing itself and Ronaldo would be happy to be at a club where he belongs more.
2. Manchester United have their finances in place and have regained their buying power. Who could how thought they would be able to sign 6 new players in the 2014 summer transfer window including the likes of Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera. Gary Neville recently made a statement about how surprised and happy he was at United's recent signings "We sat here three or four months ago deliberating over whether Manchester United could attract world-class talent. They have absolutely smashed that question out of the water". He also said that the arrival of Falcao and di Maria has made it "more possible" for Ronaldo to now follow the suit. Manchester United spent a staggering £170m in the recent transfer window; crossing the rumoured £150m budget set by the Glazer family. United is definitely on a spending spree.
3. Ronaldo wants to fulfil his dream of coming back and playing for Manchester United. CR7 was only aged 24 when he made a switch to Real Madrid. He was still a boy back then, full of ambitious dreams and had a lot to prove to the world. Five years later, breaking records after records and bagging around 15 accolades including the Fifa Ballon d'Or and UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2014, CR7 has achieved almost everything he could have possibly desired. He has talked so much about missing Manchester and Old Trafford in the last 12-18 months that it is bluntly obvious that he now wants to come back home.
OK, so what if this deal does go through - how much will the possession of Cristiano Ronaldo cost Manchester United?
Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid for a record price of £80m (crossing the historic €100m mark). In 2013, he signed a lengthy 5 year contract which ties him to the current European champions till June, 2018. His current weekly salary is £300,000. If Ronaldo's club decides to sell him off next year, when he still will have 3 more years to play, there is seriously a good chance for Real Madrid to cash in. Experts are arguing anything between £50-£60m would be a bargain for Manchester United. As far as the wages go, it would be no less than £300,000 a week. Can Manchester United afford him is entirely a different question. They will surely have to get rid of a few under-performing players such as Anderson, Cleverley, Fellaini and Young.
Clearly Real Madrid fans would absolutely agonise if Ronaldo is allowed to leave the club and there is no replacement lined up. Could that replacement be Radamel Falcao? Falcao has made his feelings about the Madrid club clear and would like a move despite his time at rivals Athletico Madrid. Falcao and Ronaldo share their agent in Jorge Mendes and maybe this was all planned in order to lure Ronaldo back by United? Falcao is currently on a loan deal at United with an option of a buy-out at the end of the season from Athletico Madrid. A swap of clubs for Falcao and Ronaldo would be a good negotiating tool for Manchester United.
The benefits Cristiano Ronaldo can bring to Manchester United are endless. His signing will easily sell a million t-shirts upon arrival at Old Trafford. Assuming a United t-shirt still costs around £50 next year, his arrival will generate £50million in merchandise sales itself. Ronaldo's presence may hinder the selection of young players like Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard in the Playing XI, but then they will a huge opportunity to learn from the Portugese superstar. His signing will also undoubtedly increase United's global fan following.
So what Jersey number will Cristiano Ronaldo wear if he makes a move to the Red Manchester club?