By Peter Hall
Aug 27 (Reuters) – Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is in advanced talks with Manchester United over a return to the club after negotiations with Manchester City broke down, British media said on Friday.
Initial reports had said Ronaldo, who has told Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri he wants to leave the Turin club, was likely to move to City, but Sky Sports said the Premier League champions had decided against doing a deal.
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is reported to be talking to United over securing the 36-year-old a move back to England and the club where he is still a firm favourite among the fans.
Sky Italia said Juventus had received a 25 million euro ($29.49 million) bid from United for Ronaldo, with a two-year contract, worth 480,000 pounds ($660,048.00) a week, offered to the Portugal forward.
Speaking ahead of Juve’s Serie A clash with Empoli this weekend, Allegri said Ronaldo had informed him on Thursday of his decision to leave the club.
“Yesterday Cristiano told me that he no longer plans to play for Juventus,” he told a news conference.
“This is why he will not be called up tomorrow. He did not train yesterday. He told his team mates this morning. I am not surprised at anything, in football there is the market and there are the needs of individuals.
“He made his choice.
Life goes on.”
Earlier, widespread reports in Italian and English media had claimed Ronaldo’s agent had already agreed the player’s personal terms with City over a move, which would have been controversial given their rivalry with United.
City coach Pep Guardiola said the power was in Ronaldo’s hands.
“I cannot say much,” said the Spanish coach when asked about Ronaldo at a news conference to preview Saturday’s home match against Arsenal. “Only I can say that in this three or four days left until the transfer window shuts, everything can happen.
“In my personal view there are few players that, and I think Cristiano Ronaldo is included and (Paris St-Germain’s new signing Lionel) Messi of course, decide where they are going to play.”
But United had not given up hope of securing a return to Old Trafford for a player who spearheaded one of the most successful periods in the famous club’s history.
“We’ve always had good communication,” United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said of his relationship with Ronaldo.
“I know (United’s Portugal midfielder) Bruno (Fernandes) has been talking to him as well and he knows what we feel about him. And if he was ever going to move away from Juventus he knows we’re here,” he told a news conference on Friday.
Ronaldo spent six seasons at Old Trafford from 2003-2009 where he won eight major trophies plus the Ballon d’Or as the world’s best player in 2008 before sealing a then world record 80 million pounds move to Real Madrid.
At United, he scored 118 goals and won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2007-08 season, the year he helped the Old Trafford club claim their last Champions League title.
($1 = 0.8479 euros)
($1 = 0.7272 pounds) (Reporting by Peter Hall; Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin in London and Simon Jennings in Bengalaru; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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