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Man United confirm Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford

Joe Prince-Wright reacts to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible return to Manchester United, as the superstar engineered a move from Juventus to Old Trafford in a matter of hours.

Cristiano Ronaldo got his move away from Juventus, as the legendary forward is agreed to re-join Manchester United, the Premier League club have confirmed and now everything is sealed.

[ MORE: All of the PL transfer deals ]

The deal came together incredibly quickly, as the Portuguese star was reportedly headed to rivals Manchester City before the Red Devils intervened all in about 12 hours’ time.

Ronaldo has passed his medical in Lisbon over the weekend and United confirmed he has signed a two-year contract, with the option of a third.

It is being reported that Ronaldo will be paid over $30 million per season and that would make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League. It is also believed that United paid Juventus $27 million to sign Ronaldo, with plenty of adds on in that transfer fee.

Speaking about his return to Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo said: “Sir Alex, this one is for you!”

He went on to say he wants success and thanked all of the fans for the messages of support he has received.

“Everyone who knows me, knows about my never ending love for Manchester United. The years I spent in this club where absolutely amazing and the path we’ve made together is written in gold letters in the history of this great and amazing institution,” Ronaldo said on Instagram.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

“I can’t even start to explain my feelings right now, as I see my return to Old Trafford announced worldwide. It’s like a dream come true, after all the times that I went back to play against Man. United, and even as an opponent, to have always felt such love and respect from the supporters in the stands. This is absolutely 100% the stuff that dreams are made of!

“My first domestic League, my first Cup, my first call to the Portuguese National team, my first Champions League, my first Golden Boot and my first Ballon d’Or, they were all born from this special connection between me and the Red Devils. History has been written in the past and history will be written once again! You have my word!

“I’m right here! I’m back where I belong! Let’s make it happen once again! PS - Sir Alex, this one is for you.”

His new manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is very excited to have Ronaldo back at Manchester United.

“You run out of words to describe Cristiano. He is not only a marvellous player, but also a great human being. To have the desire and the ability to play at the top level for such a long period requires a very special person,” Solskjaer said. “I have no doubt that he will continue to impress us all and his experience will be so vital for the younger players in the squad. Ronaldo’s return demonstrates the unique appeal of this club and I am absolutely delighted he is coming home to where it all started.”

A hero returns to Old Trafford

Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, for a then-world-record fee of $110 million. He spent the last three seasons at Serie A side Juventus, where he scored 101 goals in 134 games (all competitions) and won two Serie A titles and one Italian Cup.

It became clear in recent days that Ronaldo was ready to leave Juventus as more substantial reports of various transfer possibilities were reported.

UPDATE (Aug. 27): The deal is official.

UPDATE (Aug. 27): According to reporter Fabrizio Romano, Manchester United and Ronaldo are in the “final stages” of contract negotiations and the Portuguese star is ready to accept “as soon as possible.”

Pep Guardiola had the following to say when asked about a potential move for Cristiano Ronaldo: “In the three or four days anything can happen. There are few players, Ronaldo included who decide where they are going to play. There are many things that are far away.”

However, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the following to say when asked about a potential return to Old Trafford for Ronaldo, 36.

“Cristiano Ronaldo? We’ve always had a good communication. Bruno has been talking to him as well and he knows what we feel about him. If he was ever going to move away from Juventus, he knows we are here,” Solskjaer said. “Cristiano is a legend of this club, the greatest player of all time if you ask me. I was fortunate enough to play with him. I coached him when I got my job. Let’s see what happens.”

Per Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, who works for our partners at Sky Italy, Ronaldo requested to Juventus that he should not start against Udinese last week and this is when things really started to gather momentum.

He was instead included on the bench despite being fully fit. Ronaldo then came on in the 2-2 draw and thought he had scored a late winner, but it was ruled out for offside and the Portuguese star was booked for taking his shirt off in celebration.

Now, that appears to be his last act in a Juventus shirt as a move back to the Premier League beckons.

UPDATE: (Fri. Aug. 27) Cristiano Ronaldo has left Turin on his private jet (heading for Lisbon) and has told Juventus he does not want to play for them. Juve boss Max Allegri confirmed to the media in his press conference that Ronaldo will not return to the PL.

UPDATE (Thurs. Aug. 26): Ronaldo is said to be moving to the Etihad Stadium for a UEFA Champions League run with Manchester City, with Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes going so far as to call it a “done deal.”

Lopes says that super agent Jorge Mendes has convinced Ronaldo to spurn his hesitancy to sign with Manchester United’s hated rival.

Lopes says that Ronaldo views Man City as “his best chance” to win another Champions League before heading to Major League Soccer.

UPDATE (Weds. Aug. 25): Ronaldo left Juventus training early on Wednesday, August 25 with a reported right arm injury. Is it believed that Juventus are assessing whether or not he can play against Empoli in Serie A this weekend.

With the Kylian Mbappe situation developing at PSG (he looks likely to join Real Madrid in the final days of the window) could Ronaldo be heading to PSG to replace him?

The initial report about his future states that Cristiano Ronaldo made the request to not start at Udinese “because he hopes to find a solution on the market in the next days.”

However, it was reported that no officials bids have been received by Juventus for Ronaldo. Yet. It seemed like PSG are lining up some dominoes with Kylian Mbappe set to move to Real Madrid.

Imagine Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo together up top for PSG? That will likely have to stay as a dream.

What is the latest?

Following the draw at Udinese, Juventus said that they have not received any bids for Ronaldo this summer and are planning on him being at the club this season.

“We mustn’t try to create sensational stories where there aren’t any. It was a decision shared with the player. At the start of the season, naturally he is not at top fitness. I can absolutely confirm Ronaldo will remain at Juventus this season,” Juventus vice president Pavel Nedved told DAZN.

Things have changed drastically in just a few days.

Ronaldo’s current contract runs out at the end of the 2021-22 season and it is believed clubs would have to pay $34.2 million to get him out of his contract at Juventus.

For a player of his quality, despite his age, that is a very good price.

Where could he go?

There are very few clubs in Europe who could afford to sign Ronaldo but the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and PSG are among them.

A return to Real Madrid seemed likely (until Carlo Ancelotti ruled it out) but with Man City’s pursuit of Harry Kane now over, perhaps Pep Guardiola will try to entice Ronaldo back to the Premier League?

UPDATE: The latest reports from Italy suggest that Manchester City are the only club who could afford to sign Ronaldo right now, with PSG already bringing in Lionel Messi, Achraf Hakimi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos this summer.

A report from Gazzetta dello Sport states that Ronaldo’s options are very limited but that his agent, Jorge Mendes, has mentioned to Manchester City that Ronaldo is available. The report also states that the Portuguese superstar has no problem heading back to City despite his previous allegiance to Manchester United.

Seeing the United legend line up for Manchester City would be a huge shock, but it is clear he is trying to find an exit route out of Juventus before the deadline arrives.

Heading to PSG, to play alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe is probably financially impossible, but if Les Parisiens can make it work via Financial Fair Play rules, surely they will give it a go.

Cristiano Ronaldo clearly wanted a move away from Juve and with just a few days to go in the summer transfer window, this saga is going to dominate the headlines between now and the deadline on Aug. 31.

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