Manchester United are in advanced talks to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo after Manchester City withdrew from a potential deal.
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has confirmed that a deal to return the Juventus striker to Old Trafford is very close.
City had the opportunity to sign Ronaldo and he considered making a move as he thought they were the player’s first choice.
However, despite acknowledging his qualities as a player, there was not a great deal of enthusiasm among the City board as Ronaldo is not the character they would normally prefer.
Ronaldo is now looking elsewhere and thinks Mendes is in talks with more than one club.
On Friday, coach Max Allegri confirmed the 36-year-old’s departure from Juventus, telling him at a press conference that he had “no intention” of playing for the club again.
“Yesterday, while talking to Cristiano, he told me that he does not intend to stay at Juventus and for this reason, he will not be called up tomorrow.” [against Empoli] “And he didn’t train this morning,” Allegri said.
“I’m not disappointed at all, because Cristiano made his decision. He’s been here for three years, made his contribution, put himself at Juventus’ disposal, and now he’s leaving and life goes on.”
“Cristiano has done so much for this club, he is a great champion, I wish him all the best in the world wherever he plays. Just to thank him for what he did for Juventus.”
Ronaldo spent an hour and a half at Juventus’ Contasa training ground on Friday morning, saying goodbye to his teammates and emptying his wardrobe in the changing room.
He then left and boarded a private jet bound for Lisbon at Turin’s Castel Airport, his future due to be decided in the next few hours.
Ronaldo is in the final year of his contract in Turin worth around £500,000-a-week and the Italian giants are asking any suitor to pay a €25m (£21.3m) transfer fee.
Ole: Ronaldo knows we’re here
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Ronaldo “knows we are here” amid the striker’s desire to leave Juventus.
Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, the Champions League, the FA Cup and the League Cup twice with United under former coach Sir Alex Ferguson between 2003 and 2009.
“I don’t think Cristiano will leave Juventus,” Solskjaer told reporters on Friday. “It was speculation this morning and the last few days of course.”
“We’ve always had good contacts. I know Bruno [Fernandes] He was talking to him too. He knows how we feel about him and if he is going to move away from Juventus he knows we are here.”
Solskjaer, who played alongside Ronaldo during the latter stages of his United career, described his former teammate as the club’s “legend” and “the greatest player of all time”.
“I was fortunate to play with him, I trained him when I got my job (as United reserve manager),” the Norwegian added.
“Such a wonderful human being, let’s see what happens with Cristiano. I think everyone who played with him has a weakness for him.”
Pep Guardiola said Ronaldo will decide where he wants to play just moments before Manchester City withdraw from a deal to sign the striker and a return to Manchester United emerges as a possibility.
Guardiola said “anything can happen” before the transfer window closes on Tuesday, but stressed that players of Ronaldo’s caliber decide their moves themselves.
“Ronaldo will decide where he wants to play. It’s not Manchester City, nor me,” Guardiola said on Friday, about an hour ago. Sky Sports News Reports have said that City have ended their talks and that United are now in discussions with their former player.
When asked if he wanted to sign Ronaldo, Guardiola added: “I am very happy with the team, more than satisfied. We are the same except for one man, Sergio.” [Aguero]And one man arrived, Jack [Grealish].
“These types of players are the ones who decide. [Lionel] Messi decided to go to Paris, knocked on the door, they called.”
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