PARIS: After 12 years in which he has claimed a dozen or more major trophies and broken a string of records, Cristiano Ronaldo will rejoin Manchester United on a two-year contract.
“Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical,” the English club said in a statement today (Friday).
Manchester City had seemed the most likely destination for the five-times Ballon d’Or winner until Friday morning. However, after 48 hours that saw Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, hold talks with Juventus officials over a potential move, City confirmed on Friday lunchtime that they were no longer interested.
It then emerged that Mendes had also held talks with United before a statement from them hours later then confirmed they had reached agreement with Juventus for a deal to re-sign the player who joined from Sporting Lisbon as a teenager and spent six seasons at Old Trafford before moving to Madrid for a world-record £80m in 2009.
Sky Sport Italia reported that United have offered Juve 28 million euros ($33 million), agreeing a two-year deal with the superstar attacker worth 25 million euros per season.
Ronaldo has less than 12 months left on his contract with Juventus, worth an estimated €31m a season after tax. It is understood City were reluctant to pay a fee for a player who will turn 37 in February.
Ronaldo won the first of his five Champions League titles and was first crowned the world’s best player during six years at United between 2003 and 2009. In total he scored 118 goals in 292 games, also winning three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups.
Earlier in the day, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s desire to leave the Italian giants. “Yesterday, speaking with Cristiano, he told me that he has no intention of staying at Juventus, for this reason he will not be picked tomorrow,” said Allegri.
Ronaldo won two Serie A titles with Juventus, but his time in Turin has not lived up to expectations. Juventus’ hopes he would be the final piece required to end their 25-year wait to become champions of Europe have been thwarted. They have failed to get beyond the quarter-finals in the past three seasons.