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Ronaldo could return to United

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Cristiano Ronaldo has intimated that he fancies returning to Manchester United, possibly as soon as next year. The Real Madrid forward seems willing to consider spending the last three or four years of his career back at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo's self-esteem might have been dented a little by Real's likely signing of Gareth Bale for a fee in excess of what the Spanish club paid Manchester United for Ronaldo. It is likely that he may sign a new Real contract merely to underline his status as the club's top dog.

Behind the scenes though, there have been conversations with a view to bringing Ronaldo back to United. It is believed that Sir Alex Ferguson, despite retiring as United manager, retains close links with Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes and United's owners would not be put off by transfer fees and wage demands.

Beyond the huge wages and commercial endorsements, Ronaldo needs to feel he is worshipped. That has not always been the case at Real Madrid, where jaded fans need new heroes every year - hence the excitement about Bale. At United Ronaldo remains adored, and he may relish the prospect of a return.

That is for the future though. At present, Ferguson's successor David Moyes has had a promising start on the field but less so in the transfer market. He failed in his attempt to sign Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas and has been turned down by his former club Everton after bidding for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines.

Moyes outraged Everton fans by suggesting that the club was standing in the way of the players developing their careers. It suggests that the new manager's gift for diplomacy needs considerable improvement. He also still needs to find the right approach to persuade Wayne Rooney that the England striker's future lies with Manchester United.

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