Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed suggestions that Cristiano Ronaldo could return to Manchester United during the summer transfer window, saying an expectation that he could leave Real Madrid is nothing more than 'false hope'.
Manchester United have frequently been linked with a move for Ronaldo at the end of the season, with the latest reports claiming the Real Madrid star would be willing to take a pay cut in order to force a transfer away from the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo's future with Real Madrid has been the subject of constant speculation for almost the entirety of the campaign, with the 28-year-old yet to agree an extension to his contract with the club, which expires in 2015.
But Ferguson has moved to cool suggestions that Old Trafford could be a potential destination for Ronaldo, and sees no reason why the Portugal captain would leave Real Madrid for Manchester United any time soon.
"I don’t think there’s anything as far as I’m aware to encourage me that he’d come back here," he told the official Manchester United website. "I don’t think there’s anything in that at all.
"I think he’s got two years left on his contract and it could be a lot to do with the fact that negotiations are ongoing for a new contract. But it’s false hope [for anybody expecting Ronaldo to return]."
Ronaldo will make a Manchester United return of sorts on Tuesday as he arrives back at Old Trafford for the first time as a Real Madrid player, as the two giants of European football fight for a place in the last eight of the Champions League.
The tie is delicately poised after the 1-1 draw in Madrid in the first leg of the last 16 encounter, with Ronaldo having cancelled out Danny Welbeck's opener on the night.