Manchester United Eye Ronaldo Swoop as Rooney Exit Looms

John Baines@@bainesyDiego10Correspondent IMay 9, 2013

Is Ronaldo returning?
Is Ronaldo returning?Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United are attempting to soften the blow of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement by launching an astonishing swoop for Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Daily Mail are reporting that United Chief Executive David Gill has been in Madrid to meet Jorge Mendes—Ronaldo's agent—to discuss the prospect of bringing the Portuguese forward back to Old Trafford.

The Mail claim sources close to the Premier League champions are confident they can secure the services of the player they sold to Real Madrid for a world record fee of £80 million in 2009.

If United were to tempt Ronaldo back to these shores, the sum required would almost certainly be along the lines of what they received from Real Madrid four years ago.

Whilst it is alleged Gill and Mendes were meeting, Ronaldo was busy at the Santiago Bernabeu scoring his 200th goal for Los Blancos in a 6-2 rout of Malaga.

Amazingly, the former Sporting Lisbon protege has reached that figure in just 197 games, and such a prolific strike rate, plus unrivalled commercial and marketing gains, will make Ronaldo a lucrative but highly expensive acquisition to the United squad.

Prior to his retirement, Ferguson made no secret of wanting to see former World Player of the Year come back to Old Trafford. 

After the Reds were knocked out of the Champions League to Madrid in March, Ferguson stated, "I'm tempted to bring him back. he's still in the hamper."

Although the 71-year-old Scot will not be on board to harness the prodigious Portuguese flyer, Ronaldo's arrival will be a welcome boost for David Moyes—should the current Everton boss be eventually named Ferguson's successor.

However, even though the Mail are adamant discussions between Gill and Mendes have taken place, that means little if Madrid are reticent to selling.

With Jose Mourinho set to depart as their manager, the incumbent would surely love to have Ronaldo at his disposal, and it's highly unlikely Madrid President Florentino Perez would commission the sale of their star man without the say so of the as yet unnamed new Madrid coach.

The deposed La Liga champions would also be well within their rights to demand much more than the £80 million they paid United back in 2009.

The recently turned 28-year-old is at the peak of his powers, and Madrid would not only have to countenance the loss of his goals, but the massive revenue streams he brings into the club.

Therefore it remains to be seen if Madrid would be willing to do business, or indeed United could afford it.

One way they could supplement the deal is by selling Wayne Rooney, and again the Daily Mail lead the way with another "exclusive," which claims the England striker told Ferguson he wants out of Old Trafford.

The report claims Rooney has grown disillusioned with life at the club he has spent 10 seasons with and seeks a move elsewhere, with Chelsea, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich all touted as potential destinations.

Rooney may reconsider his stance with his first club boss, Moyes, set to take over, and being reacquainted with Ronaldo may also sway his decision.

However, with Robin van Persie staking his claim as United's main front man, would there even be room for a Rooney, Ronaldo, RVP triumvirate?

So the question for Manchester United fans is: Would you be happy to see Ronaldo come and Rooney go?

For more, follow me on Twitter @bainesyDiego10


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