The matter of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid future refuses to go away and the mercurial forward stoked the embers of the debate by refusing to confirm or deny reports that he’s agreed an extension to his current Los Merengues deal.
As it stands, the Portuguese star and perennial World Player of the Year runner-up has two years left to run on his Bernabeu contract and, amid reports of unhappiness at the club sparked by the player himself last term, he’s been repeatedly linked with a summer switch back to Manchester United. Ladbrokes have priced the Red Devils up at 7/2 to be Ronaldo’s employers come the end of August.
United are eager to address the much more pressing matter of acquiring a playmaking central midfielder, which means they’re unlikely to fork out the block-busting sum of money required to sign the man they let go for £80m back in 2009. This justifies the microscopic 1/8 price that says he stays put at Real, despite this latest outburst of vagueness from the player.
The 28-year-old helped himself to another 30 La Liga goals from 34 games during the previous campaign, but this wasn’t enough for his side to better arch-nemeses Barcelona in the race to be crowned kings of Spain.
This was his worst goals-to-game record in four seasons at Real and, with the expected arrival of Gareth Bale anticipated to surpass the world record fee the club splashed out on him four years ago, he could be looking for a way out.
A return to United looks the only viable option if that were the case.
The Premier League champions – who Ronaldo notched 84 league goals for during his time in England – are in desperate need of a marquee signing after falling short in the pursuit of their top two targets this summer and, while the Portuguese isn’t the solution to their on-field issues, the lorry-load of goals he would bring to the table are certainly not going to detract from their trophy-winning credentials.
Perhaps the odds could do with being bumped up a few notches for real value, but a Ronaldo-United reunion could still prove a decent outside punt.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date