On a truly bewildering day of transfer action, Manchester United look to have pulled off a major, major coup.
The Premier League side have agreed a blockbuster deal to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo after striking a bargain with Juventus for the 36-year-old Portuguese star.
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Via a statement posted on their official website, United claim the move is close to completion with only formalities such as personal terms and a medical being rubber-stamped.
Welcome 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲, @Cristiano 🔴#MUFC | #Ronaldo— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 27, 2021
Ronaldo cut his teeth during his first stint at Old Trafford, scoring 118 goals in 292 games before leaving to join Real Madrid in 2009 as a modern-day Galactico. Since then he has truly ascended to greatness, winning all there is to win and breaking just about every performance record there is to break.
United's huge announcement comes as the dramatic conclusion to a chaotic 24 hours in which rivals Manchester City were first reported to have made contact with the player's agent, Jorge Mendes, about bringing Ronaldo back to the Premier League.
While nothing is official quite yet, several excited United players popped up on social media to welcome Ronaldo back home.
Welcome home @Cristiano 🙌🔴— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) August 27, 2021
Wow wow wow, he's home 🤩♥️ @Cristiano— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) August 27, 2021
Jadon Sancho couldn't quite believe what he was witnessing as the story unfolded over the course of an afternoon.
SCARY HOURS!— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) August 27, 2021
Bruno Fernandes went a step further by hinting that he had played an instrumental role in luring his Portugal teammate to United.
'Agent Bruno'? 💼 😂— Bruno Fernandes (@B_Fernandes8) August 27, 2021
Welcome back home @Cristiano 🙌🐐 https://t.co/YoFBamTIAQ
Former United colleague Patrice Evra also claimed to have gotten the scoop on Ronaldo's prodigal return, sharing a screenshot of a supposed Whatsapp conversation between the pair in which the latter revealed he would be returning to "our club."
People have to calm down sometimes!!! He say he's coming home 🏠 relaxxx man😅😅 now i can post it 🔥♥️🙏🏽🚶♂️BIGGEST TRANSFER IN FOOTBALL HISTORY #ilovethisgame @Cristiano @ManUtd #loyalty #positive4evra #manchesterunited pic.twitter.com/Zpyl5A0HWu— Patrice Evra (@Evra) August 27, 2021
RB Leipzig also took the credit by claiming that Ronaldo swerved on signing for City at the last minute due to Pep Guardiola's side being drawn against them in the Champions League "group of death."
The moment @Cristiano changed his mind.— RB Leipzig (@RBLeipzig) August 27, 2021
Sorry, @ManCity - he just had to avoid the #GroupOfDeath. 🤷#UCLDraw #Ronaldo https://t.co/tuLGjENe4b pic.twitter.com/yENoMQUuwS
Meanwhile, there was also a chance to poke fun at United fans, many of whom had to swiftly change their tunes having previously laboured under the illusion Ronaldo was poised to join their crosstown neighbours.
Manchester United fans' timelines are going to look like a Frank Lampard press conference; "Cristiano Ronaldo is an absolute snake, he's completely past it, no but seriously, it would be amazing to bring him back to Old Trafford".— Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) August 27, 2021
Of course, Gary Neville jumped at the opportunity to poke fun at erstwhile nemesis Jamie Carragher, who had previously run the rule of Ronaldo's impending transfer to City.
The " You won't win anything with kids " moment 😂😂😂 https://t.co/6jIiBHkKs0— Gary Neville (@GNev2) August 27, 2021
And just to cap off the mayhem, there were also fingers crossed that Ronaldo would revisit the infamously gaudy knitwear he sported the last time he signed for United, back in 2003.
A few things have changed since the last time Ronaldo joined Man United 🔴💭 pic.twitter.com/928cPWdUl8— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 27, 2021