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Cristiano Ronaldo linked with shock Real Madrid return

Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo could make a surprise return to Real Madrid during this summer’s transfer window, according to The Mirror.

The 37-year-old made his stunning comeback with the Red Devils after 12 years last summer. He has had an impressive homecoming season with 23 goals across all competitions.

Despite his efforts, the club have been far off from challenging for the Premier League title, and are presently on course to miss out on Champions League football next season.

Ronaldo has not played outside of Europe’s elite club competition for the best part of two decades. This has led to speculation whether he could move on at the end of the campaign.

It is also unclear whether he would have a confirmed starting role under new boss Erik ten Hag. Amidst this, it is claimed that Madrid’s hierarchy could be open to a reunion.

Ronaldo netted a staggering 450 goals from 438 games for Los Blancos. They have been fancied to make an approach despite snubbing the prospect of re-signing him from Juventus last summer.

Our view:

Ronaldo was in superb form for United during the first half of the season with 14 goals, but suffered a dip at the turn of the year, coinciding with United’s inconsistent run of form.

The Portuguese has, however, picked up his performances in recent months. He bagged hat-tricks against Norwich and Tottenham in winning causes while scoring a vital equaliser against Chelsea.

Despite this, the club are experiencing a poor league campaign. If they fail to win their final three matches of the season, it would be their worst-ever points tally in the Premier League era.

Ronaldo still has a year left on his contract with the option for another 12 months, but it was reported earlier this year that the hierarchy won’t come in his way if he pushes for the exit door.

Madrid should be a lucrative option for the £31.5 million-rated star, but it remains unclear whether he would be assured a starting role under manager Carlo Ancelotti next season.

Ancelotti undoubtedly has a close relationship with Ronaldo from his previous stint at Madrid. The Portuguese was visibly upset with the manager’s departure back in 2015.

However, Ronaldo may not be lining up front alongside Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior next term, particularly if Los Blancos sign one of Kylian Mbappe or Erling Braut Haaland.

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