Friday 13 December 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Transfer now 'more possible', says Gary Neville

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after missing a chance to score during the defeat to Atletico Madrid at the weekend
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after missing a chance to score during the defeat to Atletico Madrid at the weekend

Simon Rice

The prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United has been made "more possible" according to former Red Devil Gary Neville.

The Portugal international has recently been making noises that he is not fully content at the Bernabeu. It's a situation understood to stem from slipping behind the highest-paid earners in football, with Radamel Falcao and former Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney among those now earning more than the Ballon d'Or holder.

In a recent interview, Ronaldo himself hinted at a possible return to Old Trafford: "I love Manchester," he said.

"Everyone knows that — I have said it many times. Manchester is in my heart. I left many good friends there, the supporters are amazing and I wish I can come back one day."

The comments from Neville will likely fuel speculation over a sensational return for Ronaldo. Speaking on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, the England assistant suggested that the intent shown by Manchester United with their summer spending spree indicates they are in a position to seal Ronaldo's transfer.

"You'd have to say that with what they've done with (Angel) Di Maria and (Radamel) Falcao it's more possible, it has to be, because they've shown the real intent to go and sign world-class players," he said.

"We sat here three or four months ago deliberating over whether Manchester United could attract world-class talent. They've absolutely smashed that question out of the water and if they get him.

He continued: "There was talk last summer that it was either going to be Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale and there are rumours of Cristiano not being happy in Madrid.

"Obviously last year they won the Champions League, so has he achieved what he wanted to achieve in Madrid? Has he done what he set out to do? That's question one.

"Does he love Manchester? Does he love United? Yes, absolutely. He has talked more and more in the last 12 to 18 months about how he misses Old Trafford.

"The reception he got there and the way the fans reacted towards him, I've not seen that for many players. Eric Cantona and him were incredible reactions from the fans every single week.

"It was almost like an incredible belief in the stadium every time he played."

Only yesterday, former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon claimed the forward was "fed up" at the Bernabeu.

“My impression is he is fed up with the policy of the current president,” Calderon told Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on TalkSPORT.

“When he came [to Real Madrid] with [Arjen] Robben he thought he would be a good colleague for him in the team [but then he was sold].

“Two years ago it was [Gonzalo] Higuain sold and he didn’t like that. Last year he thought it was a mistake to let [Mesut] Ozil leave and the last straw was selling Xabi Alonso and Angel di Maria this summer.”

Should Real Madrid show a willingness to sell Ronaldo, Manchester United have first option.

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