It probably won't happen, but if Manchester United somehow prise Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid this summer, it could prompt the most eventful transfer window on record.
United are prepared to offer £65 million plus a player to secure the return of Ronaldo, according to reports. The Portuguese has turned down a new deal at Madrid and has his house on the market.
Let's imagine United fans see their romantic dreams come true — that Madrid decide they can't risk letting Ronaldo's contract run down and the 28-year-old opts for a return to the club at which he made his name.
Leaning heavily on creative license, here's what might transpire as a result.
Step 1: Ronaldo returns to United for £65 million plus Javier Hernandez
Chicharito would make sense as the makeweight in the deal, especially if Madrid sell Gonzalo Higuain this summer.
Step 2: Madrid sign Gareth Bale for £82.5 million
Flush with cash from the Ronaldo deal and desperate to appease their supporters, not to mention their new manager Carlo Ancelotti, Madrid goes Galactico and make Tottenham an offer they can't refuse.
Step 3: Chelsea sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic
According to a December 2012 report by the Daily Mail, Jose Mourinho bid for Bale during his time at Madrid. Let's assume he's interested again but Madrid beat Chelsea to the Welshman.
As talkSPORT point out, Ibrahimovic could be on his radar and Mourinho might turn his attention to the PSG striker.
With Ancelotti - the man who signed Ibra - having left the club, who knows where the volatile Swede's head will be at.
The Daily Star reported in May that both Chelsea and Manchester City were interested in making a bid.
Step 4: Wayne Rooney swaps Manchester for Paris
With Zlatan gone, the next PSG manager will be in the market for a world-class attacking talent.
In my fictional world, United will have Ronaldo back so they may be more open to letting Rooney leave.
PSG are prepared to offer the England international £300,000 per week after tax to make the switch.
Step 5: Bayern Munich land Robert Lewandowski
Things are seriously heating up now. With Rooney and Hernandez gone, David Moyes tries to get Lewandowski to bolster his strike options, but United are beaten to the punch by Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich — as predicted by the Daily Mail in May.
Step 6: Dortmund sign Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea
Chelsea now have Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Ibrahimovic at their disposal. With Mourinho favoring a one-striker system, he decides to let Romelu Lukaku go to Dortmund on a season's loan— avoiding a situation where the striker can blitz the Premier League again in another team's colours and makes him look daft.
Sky Sports quoted Lukaku as saying Dortmund would be a "good choice." With Lewandowski gone, they'll certainly need him.
Step 7: United sign Kevin Strootman from PSV Eindhoven
Unable to land Lewandowski from Dortmund, or Marouane Fellaini from his old club Everton, Moyes pays around £10 million for young Dutch midfielder Strootman — as suggested by the Daily Star.
Step 8: Juventus beat Arsenal to Gonzalo Higuain
Having missed out to United on Strootman, Arsene Wenger goes all-in in an attempt to sign unsettled Argentine striker Higuain from Madrid.
Unfortunately, Juventus win the race and Arsenal are left disappointed.
Step 9: Wenger finally seals a deal and brings in Stevan Jovetic
Fiorentina are playing hardball on Jovetic. Their sporting director Daniele Prade has said the striker is "not on the market".
It transpires that was just a game to extract the right fee.
Chelsea, having signed Ibrahimovic, are now out of the running. Juventus also pass now that they've added Higuain. That leaves Arsenal, who are desperate and stump up £27 million to get their man.
Step 10: Manchester City swap Edin Dzeko and cash for Edinson Cavani
City were keen on Jovetic, but Arsenal's bid was higher than even they were prepared to go for the 23-year-old.
Instead, Manuel Pellegrini turns to Cavani. According to the Guardian, City have already initiated talks with Napoli about the striker. The suggestion is they want City striker Dzeko in return, but cash will also need to change hands to make the deal viable for the Italians.
Cavani would have preferred Madrid but the addition of Bale and Hernandez at the Bernabeu saw them drop out of the running. Chelsea, satisfied with the signing of Ibrahimovic, also decide to back off.
And there you have it — a wild prediction of what could happen should Ronaldo join Manchester United this summer. Let's see how many of those steps come to fruition!
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