Sir Alex Ferguson may no longer have an active role in the Manchester United dressing room, but he still has a significant influence with regards to one almighty transfer deal in particular.
Louis van Gaal lit a fuse over the weekend by claiming he would welcome Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford and all the signs point towards an attempt to bring him in back from Real Madrid next summer.
It won't be easy. The figures surrounding the deal are incomprehensible for a man who will turn 31-years-old in February. Real Madrid want £60million and Ronaldo will demand £250,000-a-week over a long-term contract.
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But Ferguson, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, is a firm believer that Ronaldo can still have a significant influence on this team and is ready to do everything in his power to coax the Portuguese back to his adopted home.
If anyone can do it, the former United manager can. He has a very strong relationship with Ronaldo having played a big role in turning him from a cocky teenager into a world-class athlete.
The last meeting
The report from Marca claims Ferguson has met Ronaldo twice in the last year and discussed a return to Manchester United on both occasions. First, he traveled to Spain in March and had dinner with both Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes. Talk of a return was unwelcome at the time, but much has changed since then.
Ronaldo met Ferguson on a second occasion at the premiere of his recent film, and once against Ferguson talked to him about the perks of rejoining Manchester United. More specifically, he tried to convince him that the current project was one to be excited about.
This project is essentially Manchester United spending ludicrous amounts of money in the transfer window in the hope of building some sort of super team. They have so far failed to attract a truly world-class star. The closest they have come is Angel di Maria and we all know how that went down.
But Ronaldo, regardless of how old he is, will send Manchester United fans into fever pitch and will surely settle into life easier than Di Maria.
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