Juan Mata believes Manchester United will struggle to bring Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo, who remains a Red Devils’ fan favourite thanks to his memorable six-year spell with the Premier League giants between 2003-2009, has been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu in recent weeks.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner was urged to move back to Old Trafford by David Beckham last week while Gary Neville believes United should make a move for the younger Gareth Bale instead. Mata, meanwhile, reckons Ronaldo could end up staying with Real Madrid beyond next summer.
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"I think it's difficult for that to happen, in truth," Mata told Goal in an exclusive interview. "The respect and admiration that the people have for Cristiano (in Manchester) is incredible. You see it at the training ground, at the stadium, with so many photos of when he won all those titles there and did so well on a personal level as well.
"But it's complicated with him at a club like Real Madrid and happy there, which I think he is. He is a player who makes the difference in any league, obviously. But as it's very complicated at the moment, I prefer to focus on the players who are here, on playing well and achieving the club's objectives."
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Ronaldo would cost United a fortune
While many Manchester United fans would welcome the Portuguese superstar back with open arms - some even paid £3000 of their own money for a plane to fly a ‘Come Home Ronaldo’ banner over Villarreal’s El Madrigal in September 2014 - any deal to bring him back to back to Old Trafford would cost the Red Devils a huge amount of cash.
First, there would be the massive transfer fee Manchester United would need to pay Real Madrid - it’s possible that the English club would be required to shell out more than the £80 million they sold him for in the summer of 2009 - and then there would be his astronomical wages to take into consideration.
PSG move makes more sense
Guillem Balague, the Spanish journalist who recently released a book about the current Real Madrid number seven, believes a move to Paris Saint-Germain makes more sense than a transfer back to Old Trafford for Ronaldo.
The oil-rich French champions have the money to make a deal happen next summer - and it would come as no major surprise if the Parc des Princes ended up being Ronaldo’s next destination.
Manchester United fans: would it be worth re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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