Man Utd had ‘contact’ over Joao Felix signing as details given amid Cristiano Ronaldo saga

Which club might Cristiano Ronaldo join if he leaves Man United?

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Amid Atletico Madrid’s pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s time to throw things back. Joao Felix has been linked with Manchester United as part of a sensational swap deal that would see his compatriot make a blockbuster, and controversial, move back to La Liga. And it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see the Red Devils try and bring Felix to Old Trafford, especially given their past interest.

Manchester United continue to stress that Ronaldo isn’t for sale and won’t be leaving this summer.

This is something they’ve told Jorge Mendes privately, with the super-agent trying to get Ronaldo the move away that he craves.

While Atletico have downplayed interest in the 37-year-old, however, there’s more to those rumours than meets the eye.

Yes, it would be controversial. They also need to sell players to make a deal happen, too, with the likes of Thomas Lemar and Antoine Griezmann on the market.

But Atletico are interested and Ronaldo is believed to be open to the possibility of making the move, despite his Real Madrid past.

And Felix could be one player United would ask for in return.

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The Portugal international was on their radar back in 2019, when it became clear he’d be leaving Benfica for a modern-day European giant.

United had other priorities that summer, however, and ended up landing the likes of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James instead.

But, in 2020, Le10 Sport claimed that the Red Devils had ‘made contact’ with Atletico about a deal.

They were eyeing Jadon Sancho at the time, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hellbent on signing the Borussia Dortmund star.

But, as it became clearer United wouldn’t be able to land their man, they started to look at alternatives.

Felix was one of them, with United sounding out Atletico after the Portugal international had netted just seven times during his maiden season at the club.

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Behind the scenes at Old Trafford, they felt Felix could be the next Ronaldo.

And, in Jorge Mendes, they also had an ally on their side.

United ‘dreamed of the chance’ to recruit Felix, who was just 20 at the time and still a player with raw talent.

However, in the end, things didn’t work out with Atletico making it clear their young gem wasn’t for sale.

United were then left in a state of panic and landed Edinson Cavani on transfer deadline day, with the Uruguay international proceeding to net 17 goals across all competitions.

Cavani left this summer, however, after falling behind Ronaldo in the pecking order.

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And United did eventually land Sancho 12 months ago, with the England international then proceeding to score just three goals last term.

With Ronaldo on Atletico’s radar, it’s possible Felix could be pursued by United.

But that’s only if they relent and come to the conclusion that jettisoning one of their best-ever players is worth it.

Meanwhile, speaking to Genting Casino, former United star Jaap Stam called on his side to clarify Ronaldo’s situation as quickly as possible.

“Well, you don’t want to have too much confusion within the squad straightaway, especially when you’re starting as a new manager,” he said.

“You’re working with one of the best players in the world. He’s been doing very well, last season scoring a lot of goals.

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“I was hoping that Ronaldo was going to stay because I think he could be very important for the club.

“I think Ronaldo is still one of the best players at United. Even when he’s not scoring, he’s always making the opposition aware of him and they always need to pay him a lot of attention which creates opportunities and space for other players.

“I assume that ten Hag spoke with him about the new season. I don’t know exactly what happened, but it looks like Ronaldo wants to make a move and play somewhere else next season, which I think is a shame.

“If the player has said that he wants to leave, although it’s very tough for the manager and for the club and especially for the fans, then the situation doesn’t need to drag on that long.

“United need to make a decision as a club and find a way to deal with his departure. The manager needs to build his squad and understand who he will be working with.

“United don’t want to be in a situation where they have been using other players up front, and those players that have been performing are all of a sudden dropped because Ronaldo didn’t get his move and he needs to play.”

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