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Manchester City appear to want Cristiano Ronaldo. And reports have suggested the Portugal international is actually trying to engineer a move to the Etihad Stadium as he looks to leave Juventus behind. However, Express Sport will now ask the question: What if he’s using Pep Guardiola’s side to try and engineer a return to Manchester United instead?
Ronaldo to City is a transfer you’d expect to happen on FIFA 21, or even Football Manager.
But, in 2021, it’s an actual thing. There’s a possibility the veteran will move to the Etihad, particularly after Harry Kane made it clear he’d be staying at Tottenham.
City have spent the summer chasing Kane but the England international, at long last, has put the rumours to bed.
And that means that Ronaldo is on their radar as a result, especially with the player wanting to leave Juventus behind.
The 36-year-old has spent three years in Italy, winning two Serie A titles during that time.
But he recently benched himself for a draw with Udinese, believing he’s potentially about to secure a move away from the club.
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Cristiano Ronaldo is being linked with Man City transfer amid Man Utd uncertainty (Image: GETTY)
It’s even stated by some publications that Ronaldo thinks he could be a City player as recently as this weekend, in what would truly be a stunning turn of events.
But United simply can’t be ruled out. And, what’s more, there’s certainly a possibility Ronaldo is using City to get the fairytale return he craves.
In 2015, the veteran insisted he’d never play for City. Never.
“To play for City not United? I’m not going to do that,” he said.
“Why? Because my heart’s in Manchester United, that’s why.
“I can say it would be very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very difficult to play at Manchester City.
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Cristiano Ronaldo is wanted by Man City to boost their Premier League title hopes (Image: GETTY)
“Very difficult because of Manchester United.”
Then, there’s the Sir Alex Ferguson factor.
Ronaldo has long been close to the Scot, with the pair maintaining contact over the years despite his move to Real Madrid in 2009.
And, if he moved to City, he’d likely risk his fine relationship with the figure who helped catapult him to superstardom.
Likewise, his relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be damaged as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo would risk upsetting Man Utd mentor Sir Alex Ferguson with Man City transfer (Image: GETTY)
Solskjaer is still in touch with his former team-mate, who he’s regularly labelled as one of the best players on the planet.
And if Ronaldo heads to City, he can forget all about the warm ovations he’s been given by Old Trafford match-goers since his departure.
Regarding a potential return, United have long been open to the idea.
And so too has Ronaldo, who has always kept the door open to an emotional homecoming.
Speaking in 2014, a year after he’d knocked his old side out of the Champions League, the Portugal forward admitted he’d love to return to his former club.
“I love Manchester,” he pined.
Cristiano Ronaldo has long dreamed of playing for Man Utd again (Image: GETTY)
“Everyone knows that. Manchester is in my heart.
“The supporters are amazing and I wish I can come back one day.”
And United are open to having him back.
The problem is, however, it doesn’t appear to be now – particularly following Jadon Sancho’s move to the club.
So what ultimately happens with Ronaldo remains to be seen.
Is a move to City really on the cards? Or is this part of some grand plan to secure the move he really wants?