Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to where it all began.
Well, the place where it began in the Premier League, at least.
Manchester United announced Friday that Ronaldo is heading back to the red side of Manchester over a decade after he left the club for Real Madrid. It comes after a whirlwind 24-hour period in which Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, met with Juventus’ management to express his client’s desire to leave Turin, then Ronaldo looked like he was heading to Manchester City only to see them pull out of the deal and Manchester United now bring back one of their most beloved players of this generation.
UPDATE: Manchester United will pay Juventus an initial fee of €15 million with potentially another €8 million in add-ons, according to Sky Sport Italia’s Fabrizio Romano. Juve will likely see at least €20 million as Romano refers to the add-ons as relatively “easy” to achieve.
United’s statement on the Ronaldo signing is as follows:
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.
As of this post going live, Juventus has yet to confirm the move. Juve manager Max Allegri, however, had this to say about Ronaldo leaving the club during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s home opener against Empoli:
“Yesterday, Cristiano told me that he no longer has any intention to play for Juventus. For this reason, he will not be called up for tomorrow’s game.
“Cristiano is to be thanked for what he has done, also as an example amongst the youngsters. But as I said, we must go on.”
Ronaldo, who will turn 37 years old in February, had one year left on his four-year contract at Juventus. In his three-year tenure with Juventus, he scored a total 101 goals in 134 games.
When the summer transfer window began and talk of Ronaldo leaving became a somewhat regular point of discussion — even though he made it clear that a decision about his future was always going to happen after the Euros — Manchester United was one of the few destinations because of the economic scope of the deal. Along with Paris Saint-Germain and potentially Manchester City and Real Madrid, there was always going to be a very short list of places Ronaldo could end up at if he were to leave Juventus.
For a large portion of the summer, it looked as though those limited options would be what made him stay — especially after Paris Saint-Germain brought in Lionel Messi earlier this month and took away what many viewed as the most likely landing spot for Ronaldo.
But ever since Ronaldo was not included in the starting lineup in Juventus’ season-opening draw with Udinese, his future with the Bianconeri was a giant question mark. Man City jumped into the fray Thursday after Juve’s meetings with Mendes, but that crumbled as Friday morning went on. In stepped Manchester United, and here we are. What a day.