Cristiano Ronaldo's Potential Homecoming Would Give Wayne Rooney Reason to Stay

Justin Onslow@@JustinOnslowNFLContributor IIJune 27, 2013

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 11:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United is congratulated by team mate Wayne Rooney after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match between Manchester United and Inter Milan at Old Trafford on March 11, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney’s recent time at Old Trafford has been marred with discontentment. If Cristiano Ronaldo decides to return to his former club this summer, Rooney would once again have a reason to be hopeful for his future.

It’s no secret the 27-year-old was unhappy with his role and playing time last term with Manchester United. Reports of his desire to skip town for a more favorable situation started swirling well before Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. New boss David Moyes has done his best to quell that displeasure, per Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror, but it remains to be seen how the striker’s first manager will fare in his efforts.

But even with the success United have experienced in recent years, Rooney hasn’t been happy with his current situation—that could change if his former teammate returns this summer.

With Moyes hoping to retain Rooney—and potentially ready to use him in a more favorable role—and Ronaldo possibly returning to Old Trafford, Rooney should feel more confident in the club’s willingness to utilize his ability. Despite his struggles last term, Rooney isn’t short on talent. Reuniting him with his old teammate could provide the spark Rooney is looking for to rejuvenate his United career.

That is, of course, unless Rooney is involved in the deal that would bring Ronaldo back home.

As noted by Sky Sports Pictures on Twitter, The Star’s sport page suggests that could very well be the case:

Still, so many of the current rumours are nothing more than speculation involving Ronaldo’s desire to return to his former club at some point. As noted by Pete Jensen of The Independent, Real Madrid want Ronaldo to put his homecoming on hold until his contract expires, and Ronaldo may be on board with that decision:

Carlo Ancelotti declared he was looking forward to coaching Cristiano Ronaldo in his presentation as the new Real Madrid coach, as the Spanish broadsheet El Pais reported that the striker has been encouraged to stay at the club this year before moving back to Old Trafford as a free agent in 2015.

The Spanish paper suggested that Ronaldo does not see that move back to Manchester happening this summer and that the prospect of working with Ancelotti, the former Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain coach, is a further reason for him staying at Madrid for another year, as opposed to becoming part of the new United manager David Moyes's first season at Old Trafford.

Again, there’s an inordinate amount of speculation on the Ronaldo front, and no one really knows what will happen this summer. But should the superstar winger decide to return to United and Rooney isn’t involved in the deal, the 27-year-old should feel very good about his Old Trafford future.

As a tandem, Rooney and Ronaldo put on a show with United, leading the Red Devils to their first Champions League title of the 2000s with a trophy in 2008. Together, the pair was terrific.

Time has certainly distanced Rooney and Ronaldo from their union, but one has to wonder how much magic would still be present if they were to reunite under a new manager looking to both retain Rooney and add some extra firepower in the form of Ronaldo.

Rooney could certainly look to jump ship—as he was reportedly looking to do in Ferguson’s final year—but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect Rooney to give it one more shot with his old teammate on board, especially with United having refused to sell him already.