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Cristiano Ronaldo linked with sensational return to Manchester United

Surprise news out of Portugal and Spain that Ronaldo wants out of Real Madrid

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The biggest story of the day is that Cristiano Ronaldo has informed Real Madrid that he wants to leave the club. Clearly frustrated by the Spanish club’s inability to challenge for major honors, Ronaldo wants out. And who can blame him? On the back of a 12 month stretch in which he only managed to win, err, literally everything, it makes sense that he would demand a move.

Ronaldo is supposedly so upset about the charges brought against him for tax fraud that he’s willing to leave the country altogether. That’s not at all how tax fraud charges work, but let’s not let that get it the way of transfer speculation. More likely than not, Ronaldo is just throwing a tantrum, and the end result will be a new contract and possibly some help from Real Madrid in this tax case. But at 32, there’s always the chance that Madrid call his bluff and start taking calls from potential suitors. Naturally, PSG and Manchester United have been linked. We discussed the pros and cons of bringing Ronnie home here.

The best player to ever pull on a Manchester United shirt - if not necessarily the best ever Manchester United player - making a sensational return to the club he left for a world-record fee would be quite a story. Ronaldo is 32 now, but he’s more ruthlessly efficient than ever, and has managed to turn himself from the flying winger of his early United days into the best goalscorer on the planet, if not of all time. Make no mistake, Ronaldo would terrorize Premier League defenses to the tune of 40 goals a season, no matter the team around him.

His transfer fee will shatter the world record, his wages will be astronomical, and he’s arriving with the baggage of an ongoing tax fraud case as well as an alleged sexual assault settlement.

Buckle up, boys and girls. If this story turns out to have legs, it’s going to be a long summer.

In non-Ronaldo news, Inter are not budging on their price tag of €55m for Ivan Perisic. United value the Croatian winger at a price €15m lower than that, so something will to give if a deal is to be struck. Quite why United are so intent on signing a player described to this writer as “the Croatian Lucas Vazquez” is anyone’s guess.

Congratulations to Matteo Darmian on his nuptials.