Any Manchester United fans who harboured slight hopes that Cristiano Ronaldo was ever going to return to the club are going to be disappointed.
As the man himself collected the golden boot for his goals in La Liga last season, he revealed that he’s not going to be leaving Real Madrid before his current contract ends, which takes him to 33-years-old and there-in is the problem.
“I hope to stay at Real Madrid until the end of my contract when I'm 33 and we'll see if the president wants to extend it for a few more years,” he’s quoted by Marca.
A 33-year-old Ronaldo is the prospect that Manchester United are faced with in four years time.
If Louis van Gaal is still at the club at that point then it’s doubtful whether he’ll want to hand an aging player a massive contract and doubtful whether United will be in a position where they could offer him the level and consistency of football that he’s grown used to.
The most recent speculation over his potential return seemed to be pinned on the idea that he could return to United as a 30 or 31-year-old which presents a different proposition entirely from a Ronaldo in the final stage of his career at the top level of the game.
Those recent rumours were triggered after United pulled off a £60 million deal for Angel Di Maria, someone Ronaldo was close with at the Bernabeu leading to criticism from the Portuguese star at the club’s decision to sell him.
At that age, United wouldn’t have any hesitation in signing him but at 33-years-old, or even older if he signs a new deal, United would have most definitely moved on, with a new generation of players leading their attack.
Florentino Peres, Real’s president, is one of the most unique men in football and he tends to get what he wants.
If Real Madrid don’t offer Ronaldo a new contract, United could offer him a deal when he’s 33-years-old but the chances of that happening are extremely slim.