Cristiano Ronaldo in profile
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Manchester United have sensationally signed Cristiano Ronaldo again, 12 years after his move to Real Madrid. Ans, in Jadon Sancho, they have a player they believe can scale the same heights as the Portugal international. Manchester City were also eyeing the veteran, but a Hollywood homecoming to Old Trafford has now taken place.
Manchester United saw Ronaldo shine during his time at Old Trafford.
The Juventus star arrived in 2003 as David Beckham’s replacement, joining after the club had missed out on Ronaldinho.
And then Ronaldo etched his name into the history books.
The Portugal international fired the club to three straight Premier League titles, as well as the Champions League crown, during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time in charge.
And Ronaldo departed for Real Madrid as a club legend in 2009, having been persuaded to stay for one more year.
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Now, he’s returned.
Manchester City were eyeing the 36-year-old, with confidence previously growing that a deal could be struck.
Yet United pulled off a hijack and believe that, in Sancho, they already have their own version of Ronaldo.
It was reported by the Evening Standard prior to his move from Borussia Dortmund that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer himself felt the 21-year-old would be able to match Ronaldo’s exploits.
So that may explain why the Red Devils didn’t initially rival City for the player.
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It will be hard for Solskjaer to cram the Juventus star into his attack, despite the obvious talent the veteran still possesses.
On the wing, they’ve got the likes of Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Daniel James and Amad capable of playing there.
And, down the middle, United have Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood competing for a starting berth.
But this is Ronaldo. And exceptions will be made.
Solskjaer was asked about Ronaldo on Friday, ahead of his side’s Premier League clash with Wolves on Sunday.
“I didn’t think Cristiano would leave Juventus,” he said.
“If he ever wants to move away from Juventus he knows we are here.
“For me he is the greatest player of all time. We have had a bit of communication and I know Bruno [Fernandes] has been talking to him as well. There’s been a lot of speculation the last few days.
“Let’s see what happens with Cristiano, he’s a legend of this club. I played with him and coached him. He’s a tremendous human being. Let’s see what happens with Cristiano.”
City boss Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, sounded downbeat on the possibility of welcoming Ronaldo to the Etihad.
“I cannot say much,” he said.
“Harry Kane announced he will continue with his club, an exceptional club like Tottenham.
“Cristiano was a Juventus player and I cannot add anything else. Three or four days left of the transfer window and anything can happen.
“My personal view, there are few players, Ronaldo is one, Lionel Messi is another, they decide where they will play.
“Right now, my feeling is that we will stay the same. I am happy with my squad.”
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