Manchester United have confirmed they have agreed a deal with Juventus to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo, with the move subject to personal terms and a medical being completed.
The 36-year-old – who previously spent six years at Old Trafford before moving to Real Madrid – informed Juventus earlier this week that he wanted to leave Turin.
Initially it was Premier League champions Manchester City who emerged as frontrunners for Ronaldo’s signature, but United moved quickly to hijack the deal and agreed a fee with Juventus on Friday afternoon.
A statement read: ‘Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical.
‘Cristiano, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, has so far won over 30 major trophies during his career, including five UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, seven league titles in England, Spain and Italy, and the European Championship for his native Portugal.
‘In his first spell for Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games. Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.’
Ronaldo was persuaded to snub City after being inundated with messages from former United teammates, including the likes of Rio Ferdinand, while he also spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson on Friday morning.
Juve were initially hoping to get €28m (£24m) for Ronaldo – the same amount they still owe Real Madrid from his transfer in 2018 – but have accepted €15m (£12.8m) up front plus €8m (£6.8m) in add-ons, which represents a bargain for a player who was the top scorer in Serie A last season with 29 goals.
Ronaldo said goodbye to his Juventus teammates on Friday, leaving the club’s training complex after only an hour before boarding a private jet to Lisbon.
Personal terms are not thought to be a problem and he will now undergo a medical in Portugal; the deal has not been completed in time for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to play against Wolves on Sunday but he is set to make his second debut for the club at home to Newcastle on September 11.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was effusive in his praise of Ronaldo when asked about the forward at his pre-Wolves press conference on Friday, saying: ‘I didn’t think Cristiano was gonna turn out leaving Juventus and it’s been speculation this morning and the last few days.
‘We’ve always had good communication. I know Bruno [Fernandes]’s been talking to him as well and he knows what we feel about him. And if he was ever gonna move away from Juventus he knows we’re here.
‘We focus on the ones we have there, I don’t want to speculate too much on Cristiano, what’s happening there with the press.
‘I’ve said many times with speculation, when you’re Man United, when you’re Ronaldo, when you’re Messi, when you’re Pogba, when you’re Bruno, you have to read a lot about yourselves. So let’s see what happens with Cristiano, he’s such a legend of this club.
‘Cristiano has been a legend of this club, he is a legend of this club, he’s the greatest player of all time, if you ask me. I was fortunate enough to play with him, I coached him when I got my job. He almost retired me in that Wolverhampton game when I got injured because he kept switching sides!
‘Such a tremendous human being, as well. Let’s see what happens with Cristiano. Everyone who’s played with him has a soft spot for him.’