Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Juventus
Manchester United have muscled past Manchester City in attempting to return Cristiano Ronaldo to the Premier League, with the Old Trafford club in advanced talks to bring him back from Juventus.
The Serie A side’s manager, Massimiliano Allegri, confirmed on Friday that the Portugal international “no longer intends to play for Juventus”.
Pep Guardiola looked likely to land the 36-year-old after missing out on his premier target Harry Kane, but it is understood City have subsequently pulled out of negotiations.
The Premier League champions maintained that they had been offered Ronaldo, considered the possibility of signing him, but ultimately decided against it.
That position swiftly followed United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinting his club were working on a reunion with the iconic player, who departed Manchester for Real Madrid in 2009 having won eight major trophies at Old Trafford.
Juve have found dealing with United far smoother and would be interested in a swap for former midfielder Paul Pogba. However, a straight cash deal around £25-30m is far likelier.
Shortly after Solskjaer spoke, Guardiola seemed unconvinced that City were still in pole position to recruit Ronaldo saying he “will decide where he wants to play, not Manchester City. There are many things that are far away.”
Ronaldo enjoyed six hugely-successful years at Old Trafford
The club’s communique that they are withdrawing interest in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner arrived shortly afterwards, although had been clear for some time they didn’t want to pay Juve’s asking price.
United are increasingly confident of securing Ronaldo’s return, but there remains a fear that Paris Saint-Germain could still cause chaos in the final days of the window given Kylian Mbappe’s impending move to Real, which would see them plump for a headline replacement.
As it stands, Solskjaer is preparing for Ronaldo’s addition after Bruno Fernandes – along with several former players and Sir Alex Ferguson – drummed it into the forward that the only English team he should consider turning out for is United.
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