Will Cristiano Ronaldo ever play for Manchester United again?

Reports in Spain suggest that the Portuguese attacker is on the verge of penning a new deal at Real Madrid.

With Real Madrid looking to sign Gareth Bale this summer, Cristiano Ronaldo’s future has been thrown up in the air slightly. There have been rumblings that the Welsh attacker could be signed as the Portuguese star’s replacement, with the former Manchester United man unsettled in the Spanish capital.

However, reports over the last week seem to indicate that Ronaldo looks set to put pen to paper on a new and improved deal with the Spanish giants. Carlo Ancelotti has spoken out about the likelihood, and says it is only a matter of time before Ronaldo extends his stay at Madrid.

"The player wants to renew his contract and the club want him to renew it too, so I don't think it's going to be a problem," the Italian was quoted as saying by the Madrid-based newspaper AS.

"I think Cristiano and the club are relaxed about the issue. I don't know when it will happen, but I am certain that Cristiano is going to renew his contract with Madrid."

Manchester United have been linked with a move for their former crowd favourite on a number of occasions, however there was little chance that he would return to Old Trafford this summer. However, with his current deal at Madrid expiring in the summer of 2015, the Red Devils would maybe have had a chance next summer with Ronaldo entering the last year of his deal.

Reports in Spain say that Ronaldo’s new deal will run until 2018, ensuring that the best remaining years of his career would be at the Santiago Bernabeu. If he does sign the contract, it would take something unexpected and from leftfield to happen for him to leave Los Blancos in the next three or four years.

United fans dream of having their former charge back in the club’s red colours, but this seems now to be a fading hope.

If Ronaldo was set on a move back to the Premier League, next summer when he had one year left on his contract Madrid may have been willing to negotiate a sale to make back some of his current world record fee. The player himself would have had more power in helping to manufacture a move, but a new deal means that he will be pricing himself out of a United return in the next three or four seasons.

Ronaldo admitted to being unsettled and sad at the start of last season, and cut a forlorn figure by not celebrating scoring some of his La Liga goals. However, since then the Portugal international has seemingly got back on track, and looks set to remain in the Spanish capital for the bulk of the rest of his career.

This means that should Ronaldo ever play for United again it will be in the twilight of his career, with the smart money that he will never play for the club again.

image: © Jan Solo

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch