Gary Neville has handed encouragement to those Manchester United fans desperate to see Cristiano Ronaldo back at the club by suggesting that such a sensational return now has to be more possible following an impressive end to the summer transfer window at Old Trafford.
Manchester United - who suffered abject humiliation in the market last year under the leadership of David Moyes - were evidently eager not to suffer a similar fate following the appointment of Louis van Gaal and completed a host of signings prior to the deadline including the likes of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind.
Falcao & Di Maria - ambition
And while all of these captures will undoubtedly improve Van Gaal's squad, it was the British record £59.7million capture of former Real Madrid favourite Angel di Maria and the surprise loan deal for Colombian international forward Radamel Falcao that Neville evidently believes has increased their chances of securing Ronaldo's services once again.
"You'd have to say that with what they've done with Di Maria and Falcao it's more possible, it has to be, because they've shown the real intent to go and sign world-class players," Neville - who spent his entire professional career with Manchester United before retiring in 2011 - said in his role as a Sky Sports pundit on Monday night in quotes that were brought to our attention by Goal.
"We sat here three or four months ago deliberating over whether Manchester United could attract world-class talent. They've absolutely smashed that question out of the water and if they get him. There was talk last summer that it was either going to be Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale and there are rumours of Cristiano not being happy in Madrid.
"Obviously last year they won the Champions League, so has he achieved what he wanted to achieve in Madrid? Has he done what he set out to do? That's question one. Does he love Manchester? Does he love United? Yes, absolutely. He has talked more and more in the last 12 to 18 months about how he misses Old Trafford."
The subject of Ronaldo's future has been making the football headlines for many weeks now, with Manchester United having been frequently linked with a £60 million swoop to return the immensely talented Ballon d'Or winner back to English football amid claims that he may not be particularly content at Real Madrid.
Despite having only signed a new lucrative five-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu last September, an interesting summer in the transfer market - during which Real sold the gifted Angel di Maria and popular experienced midfielder Xabi Alonso - and perceived differences in ambition may have forced the Portugal captain to reconsider his future in La Liga.
Manchester United are certainly not the only team to have been linked with a potential move for Ronaldo in the event that he does decide that his future lies away from Real, although Van Gaal and co appear to have been handed huge encouragement in recent days with the respective interests of rivals Chelsea and reigning Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain having been significantly downplayed in the media.
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