Manchester Untied retain an interest in bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club but understand a deal will be difficult to complete this summer.
The Red Devils have been trying to tempt the Portuguese back to Old Trafford pretty much every summer since he left for Real Madrid in an £80million deal.
First, it was suggested that he would reunite with Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2013 only for the legendary manager to make a quickfire decision on his retirement.
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Then, it was the turn of Ed Woodward and David Moyes, both eager to impress as they attempted to replace two of the biggest figures at Manchester United, David Gill and Ferguson.
All have failed, however, and Ronaldo remains in a Los Blancos shirt as he heads into the twilight of an illustrious career. But even at this late stage, when the three-time Ballon d'Or winner faces up to his 32nd birthday, there is still enthusiasm for bringing him back to the club where he originally made his name.
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According to The Telegraph, Manchester United would be willing to commit serious amounts of money to make the deal happen. The report stops short of naming figures but you can be sure the transfer fee would be a world-record for someone over the age of 30, which current stands at *looks up stat* *fails to find stat*.
However, Jose Mourinho and co. are unlikely to waste time on trying to coax him back to Manchester this summer as officials believe their absence from the Champions League will prove too great a factor to overcome. Ronaldo, of course, is obsessed with winning Europe's elite competition and sees performances within it as key to winning the object he desires over anything else: The Golden Ball.
But that does not mean that Ronaldo is not interested in a glorious return either. He is frequently asked about his love for United and always responds with positivity. There is an obvious love between Ronaldo and the Old Trafford faithful and returning is something he has thought serious about.
He would, according to the same story, prefer to move back to Manchester than Paris Saint-Germain, where he has regularly been linked with a move in the recent past. Ronaldo considers French football inferior and would prefer to challenge himself in the Premier League instead.
But Ronaldo has already confirmed he will not be returning to Manchester United, saying on Thursday that he could not see himself leaving his current club.
“Right now, yes I am happy and want to stay at this club,” Ronaldo said. “I don’t see any other club that is better than Real Madrid.”