Manchester United's former assistant manager Mike Phelan says Cristiano Ronaldo would listen to an Old Trafford offer, but adds that the Real Madrid superstar is unlikely to leave the Santiago Bernabeu whilst he and the Champions League holders continue to be so successful.
The former aide to Sir Alex Ferguson was asked about the Portugal international's prospective return to the Premier League in an exclusive interview with the International Business Times, and his comments are likely to excite Red Devils supporters still holding hopes of seeing their hero run out again at the Theatre of Dreams.
"Ronaldo loved his time at Manchester United and if Manchester United were interested in him again then he would listen to that because part of his career has come through Man United," explained Phelan.
"But listen, he is where he is because of him being Ronaldo, and at the moment they're successful, Madrid are successful. So I can't see why he would think about coming back to Manchester United now."
Louis van Gaal has already been questioned several times about whether there's any truth in rumours he wants to negotiate a deal to bring the 29-year-old back to England, and although he didn't rule it out the prospect of Ronaldo returning appears unlikely in the foreseeable future.
However, given the size and stature of Manchester United they continue to be linked with a host of different high-profile players, and with the mid-season window set to open on January 3 Phelan also discussed the possibility of any new arrivals in the New Year.
"Do they need to sign anyone? I'm not there anymore, but what I've seen is that a full Manchester United squad going into January will be formidable," he added. "They have quality.
"There haven't been many times when they've purchased in January apart from rare examples - [Nemanja] Vidic, [Patrice] Evra etc.
"It's been the case of seeing what is out there, what you can bring in, and the amount you are willing to spend. It is an inflated market."
Despite Phelan's reservations Van Gaal has been promised more money to spend in 2015, even after splashing more than £150 million on six new players in the summer. Still, the significant splurge on several new acquisitions has been justified by the injury crisis that Manchester United have suffered this season, forcing the Dutch coach to rely on a number of emerging academy youngsters to fill in for senior players while sidelined.
The extensive list of absentees has shortened in recent weeks, though, allowing the Red Devils to go on an impressive run that has seen them go ten games unbeaten in the Premier League.
After drawing 1-1 with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on New Year's Day - their third stalemate in the previous four games - Van Gaal's men find themselves in third place in the table, and welcome high-flying Southampton to Old Trafford in their next league game on January 11.
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