‘Welcome back’: Manchester United agree €20m deal for Cristiano Ronaldo
- United to pay €20m plus add-ons for Portugal forward
Manchester United have confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will make a sensational return to Old Trafford after they agreed a fee with Juventus for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Ronaldo is expected to sign a two-year deal subject to being granted a visa and passing a medical, with United having agreed to pay an initial €15m to the Italian club plus up to €8m in bonuses.
Manchester City had seemed the most likely destination for the Portugal striker until Friday morning. But after a whirlwind 48 hours that saw Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, hold talks with Juventus officials in Turin on Wednesday over a potential move to the Etihad Stadium, City confirmed on Friday lunchtime that they were no longer interested.
It then emerged that Mendes had also held talks with United before a statement from them hours later then confirmed they had reached agreement with Juventus for a deal to re-sign the player who joined from Sporting Lisbon as a teenager and spent six seasons at Old Trafford before moving to Madrid for a world-record £80m in 2009.
“Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical,” it read.
“Cristiano, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, has so far won over 30 major trophies during his career, including five Uefa Champions League titles, four Fifa Club World Cups, seven league titles in England, Spain and Italy, and the European Championship for his native Portugal. In his first spell for Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games. Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.”
Ronaldo has less than 12 months left on his contract with Juventus, worth an estimated €31m a season after tax. It is understood City were reluctant to pay a fee for a player who will turn 37 in February, having also never agreed personal terms over a proposed two-year contract.
In his press conference to preview Sunday’s meeting with Wolves, Solskjær had earlier hinted that United could attempt to trump their neighbours by signing Ronaldo, admitting that the midfielder Bruno Fernandes had been in touch with his Portugal teammate.
“I didn’t think Ronaldo was going to turn out leaving Juventus and if it’s been speculation this morning, speculation the last few days, of course,” said Solskjær. “We’ve always had good communication, I know Bruno [Fernandes] has been talking to him as well and he knows what we feel about him and if he was ever going to move away from Juventus, he knows that we are here.
“We focus on the ones we have here, I don’t want to speculate too much on what is happening there in the press. I’ve said many times with speculations that when you are at Man United, when you’re Messi, when you’re Ronaldo, when you’re Pogba, you have to read a lot about yourself, so let’s see what happens with Ronaldo as he’s such a legend of this club.”
Speaking before City’s meeting with Arsenal on Saturday at the same time as his United counterpart, Guardiola seemed resigned to the prospect of missing out on Ronaldo, having also seen previous target Harry Kane commit to staying at Tottenham earlier this week.
“The only thing I can say I think there is three or four days left until the transfer window shuts so anything can happen, but in my personal view there are few players, Cristiano Ronaldo is included and Messi of course, they decide where they are going to play,” he said. “They have the leading role in the negotiations in where they want to play and right now this is my feeling that I am more delighted with the squad I have and we will say the same.”
Guardiola added:” We are the same guys, except one player leaves, Sergio [Agüero], and Jack [Grealish] arrives and I am focused on the players I have. I say the same: these type of players decide. A little bit less now because we have to negotiate but, for example, Messi decides himself where he wants to play. He decides to go to Paris, he goes to Paris. These players decide. They knock the door. They go. After that there are situations I cannot control because it is not my business and I am focused to do what we have to do and the players we have right now.”
|Full name||Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro|
|Date of birth||5 February 1985|
|Place of birth||Funchal, Madeira, Portugal|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[note 1]|
|2002–2003||Sporting CP B||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:33, 22 August 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:00, 27 June 2021 (UTC)
|Portuguese professional footballer
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro [kɾiʃˈtjɐnu ʁɔˈnaɫdu]; born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Manchester United and captains the Portugal national team. Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards[note 3] and four European Golden Shoes, the most by a European player. He has won 32 major trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League. Ronaldo holds the records for most goals (134) and assists (42) in the Champions League, most goals in the European Championship (14), and is tied with Ali Daei for most international goals (109). He is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,100 professional career appearances, and has scored over 780 official senior career goals for club and country.(Portuguese pronunciation:
Born and raised in Madeira, Ronaldo began his senior club career playing for Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United in 2003, aged 18, winning the FA Cup in his first season. He would also go onto win three consecutive Premier League titles, the Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup; at age 23, he won his first Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo was the subject of the then-most expensive association football transfer when he signed for Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth €94 million (£80 million), where he won 15 trophies, including two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey, four Champions Leagues, and became the club’s all-time top goalscorer. He also finished runner-up for the Ballon d’Or three times, behind Lionel Messi (his perceived career rival), and won back-to-back Ballons d’Or in 2013 and 2014, and again in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, Ronaldo signed for Juventus in a transfer worth an initial €100 million (£88 million), the most expensive transfer for an Italian club and the most expensive transfer for a player over 30 years old. He won two Serie A titles, two Supercoppa Italiana, and a Coppa Italia in his first three seasons with the club.
Ronaldo made his senior international debut for Portugal in 2003 at age 18, and has since earned over 170 caps, including appearing and scoring in eleven major tournaments, becoming Portugal’s most capped player and all-time top goalscorer. He scored his first international goal at Euro 2004, where he helped Portugal reach the final, and assumed full captaincy of the national team in July 2008. In 2015, Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation. The following year, he led Portugal to their first triumph in a major tournament by winning Euro 2016, and received the Silver Boot as the second-highest goalscorer of the tournament. He also led them to victory in the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019, and later received the Golden Boot as top scorer of Euro 2020.
One of the most marketable and famous athletes in the world, Ronaldo was ranked the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017 and the world’s most famous athlete by ESPN from 2016 to 2019. Time included him on their list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. He is the first footballer and the third sportsman to earn $1 billion in his career.
“Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical.”
In his first spell for Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games.
Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.