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SPORTS | 27-08-2021 13:04

Manchester United confirm signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus

Manchester United have reached an agreement to resign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, the club has announced.

Manchester United have reached an agreement to resign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, the club has announced.

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."

"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."

United moved to the front of the race to sign Ronaldo on Friday. 

Earlier in the day, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's desire to leave the Italian giants.

Premier League champions Manchester City had been widely linked with a move for the Portuguese forward after missing out on England captain Harry Kane.

However, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær hinted his club could make a late swoop to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, with the source close to the deal later telling AFP that Juve had received an offer without giving any further details.

Sky Sport Italia reported that United offered Juve 28 million euros (US$33 million) to sign Ronaldo, agreeing a two-year deal with the superstar attacker worth 25 million euros per season.

Ronaldo won the first of his five Champions League titles and was first crowned the world's best player during six years at United between 2003 and 2009.

"Cristiano is a legend of this club, he's the greatest player of all time, if you ask me," said Solskjær, who played alongside Ronaldo. "I didn't think Cristiano was going to turn out leaving Juventus. It's been speculation the last few days, of course. We've always had a good communication. I know Bruno [Fernandes] has been talking to him as well. He knows what we feel about him. If he was ever going to move from Juventus, he knows that we're here."

City seemed to be in pole position to land what would have been the biggest signing in the club's history as they look for a replacement for Sergio Agüero.

However, according to reports in England, they have now withdrawn their interest. Ronaldo is rumoured to have taken a string of calls from his former United teammates, who warned him not to join their arch-rivals.

City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he will be happy with his squad even if they do not add another striker before the end of Tuesday's transfer deadline.

"Cristiano will decide where he wants to play, not Manchester City or myself. Right now it looks far, far away," said Guardiola.

Allegri told reporters ahead of Juve's Serie A match against Empoli on Saturday that it was Ronaldo's decision to leave Juventus.

"Yesterday, speaking with Cristiano, he told me that he has no intention of staying at Juventus, for this reason he will not be picked tomorrow. This morning he didn't train," said Allegri. "He was here three years, he made his contribution, he made himself available to Juventus and now he's leaving. Life goes on."

Ronaldo won two Serie A titles with Juventus, but his time in Turin has not lived up to expectations. He joined 2018 after scoring a remarkable 450 goals in 438 matches in a glittering nine-year spell at the Bernabeu that also included four Champions League triumphs.

Juventus' hopes he would be the final piece required to end their 25-year wait to become champions of Europe have been thwarted. They have failed to get beyond the quarter-finals in the past three seasons. Last season, they were deposed as Italian champions by fierce rivals Inter Milan and had to wait until the final day of the campaign to secure qualification for Europe's top club competition.

However, Ronaldo still topped the Serie A goal charts, edging out Romelu Lukaku, who joined Chelsea this month for £97 million.

And he also rolled back the years at Euro 2020 to win the Golden Boot despite playing just four games as Portugal bowed out at the last 16.

United have already significantly strengthened their squad with the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane during the transfer window as they aim to win the Premier League for the first time since 2013.

Ronaldo would join an already loaded group of attacking options for Solskjær featuring Fernandes, Sancho, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba.

– TIMES/AFP

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