As Bournemouth prepare to face Real Madrid tomorrow, what chance Ed Woodward waiting in the wings?
Some think it is only a matter of time. Others brand it impossible. But the prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United is unlikely to go away until the player commits his long-term future to Real Madrid.
While David Moyes attempts to wrap up a deal for Cesc Fabregas, and counts out £60million in preparation for a reported bid for Gareth Bale, talk of Ronaldo’s future has slipped off the back pages and returned to the box of potential stories from which reporters seemingly plunge their hands during the off-season.
But Ronaldo is returning to England this weekend, and while he is here, expect stories of clandestine meetings with United officials and quotes about no one knowing the future.
When United chief executive Ed Woodward returned early from the club’s pre-season tour to deal with mystery transfer business, it is surprising no one saw the date in Ronaldo’s diary and decided David Gill’s successor was popping down to AFC Bournemouth’s Goldsands Stadium for a chat.
Because the bizarre reality of United’s transfer business to date is that there may be more chance of Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford than either Fabregas or Bale making the move.
If Barcelona stand firm in their recent quotes that Fabregas is not for sale, and if Daniel Levy keeps being Daniel Levy, then Woodward and Moyes have a decision to make.
If that decision is an enticing offer for Ronaldo to end his career at the club that introduced him to the world, the new men in charge may have dodged the bullet of a fruitless summer-long shopping trip.
Tomorrow’s match between Real and Bournemouth has already been in the headlines for the £60 ticket price and the £5 reduction for season-ticket holders.
So it seems the prospect of seeing the new-generation Galacticos is an enticing but expensive one; as is the prospect of Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford.
image: © gordonflood