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Real Madrid plotting Ronaldo return as Man United set to miss out on Champions League

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By Martin Graham | 2nd May 2022

35-time LaLiga champions Real Madrid are plotting a sensational move for their record goalscorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, to bring him back to the club.

Madrid won their record-extending 35th LaLiga title on Saturday following a 4-0 home victory against Espanyol and are plotting another successful season on the back of more superstar signings.

Kylian Mbappe remains their focus but the youngster is stalling the talks, claiming that he has a lot to think about. Regardless, Los Blancos are already chaisng their next targets and one of them is now reported to be Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old Portuguese superstar first landed at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2009 and spent the next eight years as the leading man at the club, after the departure of hometown hero Raul Gonzalez. He notched 451 goals in 438 total games for the club across all competitions, winning four UEFA Champions League titles and two LaLiga titles.

After a sensational move to Juventus followed by three trophy-laden years at the club, Ronaldo returned to Man United where he first made a name for himself.

The move has not worked out for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, however, despite his incredible performances in front of goal. The club is on the verge of missing out on Europe and this could lead to his exit after only one year of his return.

Incoming manager Erik ten Hag is reported to be looking for a younger forward and is willing to let Ronaldo – who United value at less than £15 million at the moment due to his age – and Madrid look ready to snap up their old superstar.

A return to Madrid will also appeal to Ronaldo because the forward is obsessed with the Champions League and Madrid will give him the surest opportunity to play – and win – the competition at least one more time before he calls time on his storied career.

Ronaldo’s return and the possibility of a dream combination could be what the club plan to entice Mbappe with as the young forward makes up his mind in where his future lies. Having played with Lionel Messi for one full season and enjoyed a beautiful partnership with the Argentine, he may now have the opportunity to play with his childhood idol at the club he supported.

Man United, meanwhile, are already looking for replacements for Ronaldo. Ten Hag reportedly wants to take Sebastian Haller with him to Old Trafford, and the club have contacted Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s representative, for another one of his clients – Benfica star Darwin Nuñez.

£67 million is the reported bid from United for the star who has spent only two seasons at Benfica. Benfica have not responded or even reacted to the bid as at the time of reporting.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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