24 hours for Manchester United to sign Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo Up Against Diego Forlan

At time of publication there is exactly 24 hours for Manchester United to pull off the most sensational deal of the summer. Could it happen or is it too impossible?

So Gareth Bale has signed for Real Madrid, usurping Cristiano Ronaldo's status as the most expensive footballer in history.

Can his ego deal with the attention being off him? With that same man having the potential to overshadow him in the Real Madrid side?

That is certainly what Manchester United fans will be hoping. Chief executive Edward Woodward has spoken of having the financial power to pull off such a deal, but has so far delivered nothing.

Can he salvage his early reputation by bringing back the icon to fill the vacant number seven shirt?

Mega-money deals are not easy to close, as Real Madrid have found out - especially so in under 24 hours.

United are by far the bookies favourites to be Ronaldo's next club at 7/4, with nearest rivals Chelsea at 14/1.

He is yet to sign a new contract despite much haggling, with his present deal expiring in 2015. Madrid now have Bale, so will they be more open to cashing in on the 28-year-old?

Bringing back Ronaldo to Old Trafford may be the realms of pure fantasy, 10 years after he first arrived at the club.

The arrival of Bale could allow Ronaldo to move into the centre of Madrid's strikeforce, replacing Karim Benzema, and have even more of a goal threat leading the line; if this is a switch the player prefers.

Madrid are said to be considering cashing in on Mesut Ozil, but if United do really want to give the Spaniards something to consider - a large lump sum for the second most expensive player in the world would certainly do the trick.

Could United re-sign Ronaldo or is it impossible to do so in 24 hours?

image: © Jan S0L0

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