Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has promised 'surprises' in his testimonial. Could Ronaldo be one of them?
It shows how time has flown, that Rio Ferdinand will be holding a testimonial at Manchester United.
It is all booked in at Old Trafford for August 9, two days before the Red Devils play Wigan in the Community Shield at Wembley in the season's official opening.
United will play Sevilla at Old Trafford, and questions are already arising as to whether if, and how Cristiano Ronaldo will be involved.
Real Madrid have been trying to resolve their star player's future ever since the season ended, amid ongoing speculation United could mount a bid.
The Sun even reported two days ago that United wanted to sign Ronaldo in time for August 8, and officially unveil him a day later for Ferdinand's testimonial.
Ronaldo the following day told reporters he expected to sign a new deal with Madrid, but admitted it simply was not a priority for him in the immediate present.
Whether United have given up trying to sign him only they know, but there is a possibility Ronaldo may just appear for United in the testimonial for his former teammate.
Ferdinand and Ronaldo are great pals off the field, with Rio visiting the attacker in Spain last year and posting a photo on his Twitter page.
And on the social networking site today, the centre-back posted the following message:
If u want 2 go 2 my testimonial game vs Sevilla on Aug 9 at Old Trafford (some cool surprises) 2 book tickets go to official Man Utd website— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) June 12, 2013
Could Ronaldo be one of the 'cool surprises'? It would be a shock if Rio had not at least asked the Real Madrid superstar, and may or may not have an answer at present.
This is because his presence would be down to Real Madrid, if they decide to let him participate or not.
That may just depend on whether he signs a new contract, for they know it would be a disaster from a PR-perspective to have him don a United shirt when he has not committed his future to the Spaniards.
They will understand the bond he has with his former club and teammates who will also be present, and a testimonial is not an official game, it's in essence the equivalent to a charity match in terms of status.
But Real are a club bossed by strong-minded individuals who will have no problem throwing their toys out of the pram and banning their player from heading back to England for the event, if they decide it doesn't suit them.
Will Ronaldo be there as a 'surprise'? Will he be a United player by then anyway?