Manchester United deal to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus
Welcome home, Cristiano. A three-word tweet from Manchester United on Friday evening capped a day of whirlwind developments as the English giants clinched a deal to sensationally bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford after rivals Manchester City withdrew their interest in the Juventus forward.
“Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical,” the Premier League club said in a statement.
The 36-year-old Portuguese forward returns to the club where he won eight major trophies between 2003 and 2009, when he left Manchester for Madrid. Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed but British and Italian media reported United signed Ronaldo on a two-year contract for 19.6 million pounds, including add-ons, with the footballer set to earn around 480,000 pounds per week.
Ronaldo left Turin earlier on Friday after saying his goodbyes to his former teammates and he has arrived in Lisbon, where he will now have his medical.
Welcome 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲, @Cristiano #MUFC | #Ronaldo— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 27, 2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the United manager, told a news conference on Friday afternoon that he wanted to bring back Ronaldo, and that his Portugal teammate Bruno Fernandes was playing a big role in trying to recruit him.
“We’ve always had good communication,” Solskjaer said. “I know Bruno has been talking to him as well and he knows what we feel about him and if he was ever going to move away from Juventus, he knows we’re here.”
According to the Manchester Evening News, United offered Ronaldo a contract on Friday morning following a late intervention from former United boss Alex Ferguson, who spoke to his former protégé about his future plans.
United stepped into the ring after it emerged that Manchester City, with whom Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes was in talks after the footballer decided to leave the Turin club, will not sign him.
Juventus, reports said, wanted a £25-million transfer fee but City were pushing for a free transfer and for Ronaldo to take a pay cut on his £500,000-a-week wages.
The dramatic developments began unfolding on Friday morning when Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri confirmed that Ronaldo had played his last game for the Italian giants and at that point, it seemed that he was destined to sign for Manchester City.
Allegri said: “Yesterday (Thursday), Ronaldo told me that he no longer has any intention to play for Juventus… He’s going to look for a new club after three years here.”
Ronaldo bid his Juventus teammates farewell in a 40-minute meeting on Friday morning and his move to Etihad Stadium looked to be becoming a formality.
But Solskjaer, who played alongside Ronaldo at United, made a stunning intervention amid outcry from United’s fanbase at the thought of one of their finest ever players joining their fierce rivals.
The deal is a huge coup for Solskjaer and would immediately strengthen their chances of winning the Premier League title. United have already signed Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane this summer.
Ronaldo scored 29 goals for Juventus last season and has scored at least 20 goals in each of the last 12 seasons.
Solskjaer, at the afternoon meet, was gushing in his praise of his former team-mate.
“Cristiano is a legend of this club, he is the greatest player of all time.
“He’s such a tremendous human being so let’s see what happens with him. Everyone who’s played with him will have a soft spot for him.”
Pushed on whether it would be great for him to return, he replied: “I have to say he’s probably the greatest player of all time, arguably him and (Lionel) Messi. It is what it is.”
Written with inputs from agencies