Manchester United could be planning for the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford after leaving the famous number seven shirt vacant for next season, according to the Daily Mail.

The previous incumbent, Antonio Valencia, will now revert back to his old number 25, leaving the door open for Ronaldo to return to Old Trafford and reclaim his old United shirt.

The Portugal international has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League, although Real Madrid insist he's not for sale.

Reports in Spain last week claimed Ronaldo was set to sign a new long-term deal to stay at the Bernabeu club.

But United's squad list for the new Premier League season has raised eyebrows, and only served to heighten speculation regarding a possible Ronaldo return.

Previous United number sevens include George Best, David Beckham and Eric Cantona, and Valencia clearly felt the shirt weighed too heavily upon his shoulders.

He suffered a dip in form last season, and has requested a switch back to his old number. Now vacant, the rumour mill is poised to go into overdrive as speculation mounts regarding a big-money move for the player who left for £80m back in 2009.

United have been criticised so far this summer for their transfer strategy, with two top targets - Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara - both spurning overtures from the Premier League champions.

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