Manchester United have signed a contract with Cristiano Ronaldo, allowing the Portugal forward to make an incredible return to Old Trafford after the club agreed on a fee with Italian football club Juventus. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is expected to ink a two-year contract subject to passing a medical and being granted a visa. Manchester United have agreed to pay an initial sum of £15 million to Juventus along with bonuses of up to £8 million.
Manchester City seemed the most likely club for the striker from Portugal until Friday morning. However, after a bizarre 48 hours that saw Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, hold talks with officials from Juventus in Turin on Wednesday afternoon over a likely move to Etihad Stadium, Manchester City were no longer interested by lunchtime on Friday. Thereafter, it emerged that Jorge Mendes also had talks with Manchester United before a statement was released that confirmed they’ve reached an agreement to re-sign Ronaldo hours later.
Manchester United’s Secret Weapon
Cristiano Ronaldo first joined Manchester United as a teenager from Sporting Lisbon and spent a total of six seasons with the Red Devils before making a move to Real Madrid for a jaw-dropping £80 million in 2009. Ronaldo has less than a year left on his current contract with Juventus which is approximately worth £31 million a season after tax. Manchester City was reluctant to pay a huge fee for a player who is turning 37 in February.
During a press conference on Sunday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted that Manchester United would attempt to use Cristiano Ronaldo as a secret weapon to finally trump their neighbours, admitting that Bruno Fernandes, the midfielder for Manchester United, had already been in touch with his teammate from Portugal.
Prior to the match between Arsenal and Manchester City, Pep Guardiola seemed relinquished to the prospect of missing out on Cristiano Ronaldo. This is after he missed out on Harry Kane who also decided to stay with Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the week. Guardiola stated that players like Messi and Ronaldo have the leading role when it comes to negotiations and that he is still satisfied with the players he currently has in his squad.
When Will Ronaldo Start Playing for Manchester United?
The rules of the Premier League state that a player must be registered before 12:00pm on the final working day prior to the next League match in order to play in that game. Given the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to agree personal terms in a formal manner, obtain a medical pass or visa by midday on Friday, he was unable to walk onto the field against the Wolves on Sunday.
Fans of Manchester United will also be frustrated with the fact that Sunday’s match was the final game before the international break which means fans will need to wait even longer before Ronaldo is back in a Man Utd shirt. Cristiano Ronaldo needs to undergo a medical exam in Lisbon to play for United. He is also playing for Portugal on 1 September against Ireland in the qualifier for the World Cup.
Thereafter, Portugal will play against Qatar in a friendly three days later before playing against Azerbaijan in another World Cup qualifier on 7 September. Only then will Ronaldo be able to return to the United Kingdom where he could possibly play against Newcastle on 11 September 2021.