In the past week, Cristiano Ronaldo has come under scrutiny with regard to his tax affairs in Spain, and he has been accused of tax evasion by the Spanish government.
The Portuguese winger is furious at these allegations and has vowed to leave Spain and Real Madrid this summer.
With a proposed price tag of £131m, very few teams in the world could afford him, and there are even less clubs where Ronaldo would consider a suitable challenge for him, except for one familiar stomping ground – Manchester United.
Ronaldo has the deepest respect for his former club, something he has commented on in the past,“I’m very happy being in Spain but obviously I also miss England because you can’t just turn off the memories.”
He also considers Sir Alex Ferguson his “father in football.”
Reputation for acting showy and petulant
By contrast, he doesn’t appreciate that fact that some Real Madrid fans have actually booed the multiple Ballon d’Or winner, probably due to his showy and sometimes petulant behavior on the pitch.
He once told Spanish TV station Antena 3 –
“I’m not asking them to name streets after me, the only thing I ask is that they don’t boo me here. I want them to stop booing me because I always give my best and even when I don’t score I try to help Real Madrid.”
This would never happen at Old Trafford where fans are extremely generous with players – even the once maligned Marouane Fellaini is now a crowd favourite.
But despite that, a return to United would be doomed to failure for all parties involved.
A Jose Mourinho tactics clash?
The Special One is very different to Sir Alex Ferguson, and so is his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Unlike Ferguson who gave Ronaldo a free role, Mourinho adopts a far more tactical and defensive system approach, something that created tension between the pair when the winger and Jose were both at Real Madrid.
In 2013, Mourinho told Portuguese newspaper A Bola –
“I had only one problem with him, very simple, very basic. When a coach criticises a player from a tactical viewpoint trying to improve what in my view could have been improved. And at this moment he didn’t take it very well because maybe he thinks he knows everything and the coach cannot help him to develop anymore.”
The sacrifice – David de Gea?
The likelihood is Real Madrid wouldn’t even consider letting Ronaldo go if De Gea was not part of a big money deal.
The Spanish international goalkeeper is arguably the best in the world at this point, with at least 6 years ahead of him at the top level.
United would be losing one of their biggest assets to a major rival.
Alvaro Morata deal in jeopardy
It’s been no secret that Manchester United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has been negotiating a move for the Spanish striker in light of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s long-term injury.
At only 24, Alvaro Morata is a big strong target man that United need the most, with a substantially smaller transfer fee in question.
A sudden Ronaldo exit could complicate matters for Real, suddenly making Morata now a much more important player to keep.
At 32, you could argue that the superstar is slightly past his best.
His game is partly based on speed and his ability to cover ground, so these areas are naturally going to suffer in the coming seasons.
We all know United would make back much of the transfer fee on shirt sales alone, but it would still be quite the financial commitment for a forward in his 30s.
Don’t forget…. these tax issues?
If these tax allegations are in fact as serious as they are made out, a move abroad is hardly going to make them disappear.
Ronaldo would likely be distracted at some point by these off the field issues, which would not help his performances on the pitch.
Do United really want to invest in a player with such complications in his life?
Are these all just bargaining tactics?
And let’s not forget, Cristiano’s tax bill is reportedly approximately £13m, which is surely pocket change for him.
The forward has also courted suggestions in the past about a possible return to United.
And let’s not forget, in 2015 Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos made a public announcement that he was finished with Real Madrid. He flirted with United all summer, only to subsequently sign a new and improved contract extension.
A cynical view would be, if Real Madrid take care of the tax, Ronaldo will be happy to stay again.
Expect this one to blow over too, folks.
Written by Nicholas Behan
Follow Nicholas on Twitter @NicholasBehan
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