CRISTIANO Ronaldo is returning to Manchester United in one of the most sensational transfers of the summer merry-go-round.
Ronaldo is set to earn £500,000-a-week at Old Trafford (Image: NurPhoto/Getty)
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The 36-year-old Portugal captain had been expected to join rivals Manchester City from Juventus. But after a dramatic 24 hours, United last night re-signed the star in a £12.8million deal plus £6.8million in add-ons. He is believed to be set to earn £500,000-a-week at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo, who agreed a two-year contract, first joined United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and last played for them 12 years ago.
Just hours before, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had said the door was open to the player, adding he “knows we are here”.
Former boss Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to have been influential in sealing the stunning switch. United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes is also said to have played a part.
Euphoric Old Trafford fans were quick to celebrate across social media, posting, “Ronaldo’s coming home” and “welcome home Ronaldo”.
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker tweeted: “Wow! Just wow. What a signing. What a transfer window for United. “What a homecoming. Love it.”
Ronaldo last played for Manchester United 12 years ago (Image: Etsuo Hara/Getty)
Former Reds goalie Edwin van der Sar said: “Always dreamt but never expected it would happen. Welcome back in Manchester Cristiano.”
Solskjaer, who played alongside Ronaldo more than a decade ago, had described the ex-Real Madrid ace as a United “legend” and the “greatest player of all time”.
Ronaldo is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and also named Fifa’s World Player of the Year twice.
With United, he clinched three Premier League titles, the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup twice under Sir Alex. He scored 118 goals in 292 games.
The father of four completed a then world-record £80million move to Real Madrid in 2009, switching to Juventus in 2018.
United said they were “delighted” to have agreed terms with Juventus for the transfer of Ronaldo, subject to finalising personal terms, his visa and medical, adding: “Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.”
It is not known what number shirt Ronaldo will wear after United’s prized No 7 shirt was given to striker Edinson Cavani.