It was this perpetual transfer cycle that sparked a predictable response from fans on social media earlier this week as doubts over his long-term future at current club Juventus gradually escalated. There are no United supporters who wouldn’t want him to return next summer, but very few believe it could actually happen.
The Portuguese striker is not respecting the club’s transfer strategy. He’s not young, he’s not homegrown, he’s not a right winger and he’s not a center-back. But, above all, he’s Ronaldo.
Much like with Lionel Messi’s links during the summer transfer window, it would be a simple ‘yes’ from United if a deal were offered. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have said that he no longer needs to sign ‘marquees’, but exceptions are made when you are a Ballon d’Or winner and bona fide legend like these two.
While there is often a reluctance to sign older players as a short-term fix for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s previous deals, Odion Ighalo and now Edinson Cavani have all but stamped out the argument against signing a player over the course of their third decade of life, it certainly would not be. neither hold back a freak of nature like Ronaldo.
It’s almost not even worth worrying about possible financial costs. If a club wants to sign Ronaldo, they will find a way to pay him. Business growth and marketing opportunities could significantly help offset such a deal, while Paul Pogba could play the key pawn role in the negotiation if they really wanted to do business with Juventus.
Yet even if he left Serie A next summer, there is no guarantee that he would actually want to return to United. It may be the club he deeply loves, the one he feels indebted to, but a lot has changed over the past decade and he knows his desire for more silverware may well be compromised with a such decision. While one disappointing spell doesn’t take away from his incredible accomplishments at Old Trafford, they might risk obscuring the near-perfect image we have of his time at the club.
There is also the desire for a new challenge. Much like with his move to Italy two years ago, Ronaldo would surely want a new league to prove itself and another nation to conquer as he continues his relentless quest for world domination.
United entered the international break by winning what was arguably their most important game of the season at Everton on Saturday.
The Reds under pressure came from behind to beat the Toffees thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ brace and Edinson Cavani’s first goal for United.
United have a two-week hiatus with many of their stars heading on international missions – we’ll be keeping an eye on their performances and preparations for their next Premier League game against West Brom.
For all the latest United news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter by submitting your email address in the sign up box above, or click here – it’s free and it doesn’t take only a few seconds.
The 35-year-old has indeed already “finished” English football, winning all the prizes on offer, he has nothing more to prove. The links with Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Miami remain, two clubs where he could comfortably solidify his legacy and aspire to even more national honors.
Until the day of his retirement, it’s almost inevitable that Ronaldo will be linked with a long-awaited return to United, but the harsh reality is that it remains a fantasy rather than facts. If the opportunity arises, the club would of course be ready to welcome him back with open arms, but their goal should be to create a new dynasty rather than relying on a former hero to rejuvenate their trophy cabinet.