Manchester United on Friday said they are “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.
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.
Ronaldo is already in Lisbon where he will soon be undertaking a medical to seal a sensational return to his former club Manchester United.
With a surge of fans and photographers eager to get a glimpse of Ronaldo at the airport, the Portuguese superstar gave a cryptic clue while getting into a car and told broadcasters TVI24 when asked of his next club: ‘You’ll know in one hour.’
United are leading the race to sensationally bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford after rivals Manchester City withdrew their interest in the Juventus forward.
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes was in talks with City after the Portugal star decided to leave Juventus, but it emerged on Friday afternoon that Pep Guardiola’s side will not sign him.
The 36-year-old will now have a medical in Lisbon as talks continue. Reports in Italy suggest United will pay Juve the £21.4million fee they wanted from City, with a two-year contract on the table for Ronaldo of around £480,000 per week.
According the Manchester Evening News, United offered Ronaldo a contract on Friday morning following a late intervention from former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who spoke to Ronaldo about the plans regarding his future.
United then publicly signalled their interest in the Old Trafford legend when Solskjaer, at his Friday press conference, made it clear that he would welcome the 36-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner back.
‘Ronaldo is a legend of the club, and the greatest player of all time, if you ask me,’ said the United boss. ‘I didn’t think he’d leave Juventus. We’ve always had a good communication and I know Bruno (Fernandes) has been talking to him.
‘He knows what we feel about him. If he was ever going to move away from Juventus, he knows we’re here.
‘When you are Messi, Ronaldo, Pogba or Bruno, you have to read a lot about yourself. Let’s see what happens with Cristiano, because he is a legend of this club.
‘I don’t want to speculate too much on Cristiano. We focus on the ones we have here. I’ve said many times, when you’re Man United or (Lionel) Messi, Ronaldo you read a lot about yourself.
‘I was fortunate to play with him and coach him. Everyone who has played with him has a soft spot for him.’
Asked if he wanted another new player after signing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane this summer, Solskjaer added: ‘Any manager is always looking for a little bit more.
‘I have to say the transfer business we’ve done this summer, I’m happy with the numbers, quality and personalities we’ve brought in. They fit each other really well. You’re never comfortable as a manager, but the chemistry is there and I’m very happy with what we’ve done.’
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri confirmed earlier on Friday that Ronaldo has played his last game for the Italian giants and at that point, it seemed that the Portugal star was destined to sign for Pep Guardiola’s City side.
Allegri said: ‘Yesterday, Ronaldo told me that he no longer has any intention to play for Juventus.
‘He is not available for tomorrow’s match against Empoli. He’s going to look for a new club after three years here.’
Source: Daily Mail GH with additional files from media agencies