Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has become the latest name to weigh in on speculation over a possible return to Old Trafford for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese forward, of course, returned to his former home for a night on Tuesday when he scored to help Real Madrid progress past Manchester United into the Champions League quarterfinals. In recent months, though, the rumor mill has been whirling up at increasing force suggesting that Ronaldo is unhappy at Madrid and pines for a move back to United, where he spent six years before departing for Madrid in 2009.
“I could see it,” Vidic said of a possible summer move for Ronaldo to United, according to the Daily Telegraph. “He is a United supporter and he still follows United, he still misses the club and the environment here, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come back.
“It would be a big ask for many reasons, but I would love to see him here. I don’t know what atmosphere he has at Madrid, so I can’t really talk about that, but all I can say is that I enjoyed playing with him, he enjoyed it here and it will be great to see him.”
The huge financial sums that would be involved mean that a transfer is still a long way off, however. Although Ronaldo has not yet signed an extension to his contract, which expires in 2015, there has been no further sign of his unhappiness that he displayed and described earlier this season.
And United manager Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t believe that a move for Ronaldo is probable, suggesting instead that the speculation about his exit may be a bargaining tool in negotiations with Madrid for a new contract.
“I don’t think there’s anything as far as I’m aware to encourage me that he’d come back here," Ferguson said, according to Manchester United’s official Web site. "I don’t think there’s anything in that at all.
"I think he’s got two years left on his contract and it could be a lot to do with the fact that negotiations are ongoing for a new contract. But it’s false hope [for anybody expecting Ronaldo to return]."
Ronaldo received a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd as his name was read out before Tuesday’s match kicked off and the player is still beloved in the red half of Manchester.