Speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo could secure a transfer to Manchester United before next month's deadline reached fever pitch on Monday, after it was claimed the Real Madrid superstar had touched down at Manchester airport.

The Portugal captain's future has been the subject of frequent conjecture over the past few months, with a contract wrangle with Real Madrid fuelling suggestions he could move back to Old Trafford.

The latest twist in this transfer saga began on Twitter on Monday afternoon with a flurry of tweets claiming Ronaldo had been spotted arriving in in the city, possibly ahead of a proposed move to Manchester United.

Former Red Devil Paddy Crerand appeared to corroborate the notion when he told MUTV that he understood Ronaldo was indeed in Manchester, although the official Twitter account of the airport dismissed the assertion.

The tweet read: "For those asking, we haven't seen Christiano [sic] today!"

Further posts from Twitter users claimed Ronaldo was, in fact, in the Algarve - and not Manchester - prior to joining up with Portugal for international duty.

The Ronaldo rumours arrive on the same day as reports that Manchester United have given up on the Real Madrid forward and will instead focus their attention on recruiting Gareth Bale from Tottenham.

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