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Cristiano Ronaldo to Man United: Has Real Madrid star cried wolf too many times?

Cristiano Ronaldo to Man United: Has Real Madrid star cried wolf too many times?
From ESPN - January 16, 2018

Manchester United are understandably wary about Cristiano Ronaldo's camp once again claiming that the Real Madrid star wants to return to Old Trafford -- although this time around it might actually be true.

Spanish newspaper AS reported on Monday's front page that Ronaldo feels betrayed by Madrid president Florentino Perez having reneged on a promise to improve his contract and his "priority" is now to return to United. A source close to Ronaldo told ESPN FC that the report was accurate.

Buenos das, aqu tenis la #PortadaAS del 15 de enero de 2018 pic.twitter.com/Mh9WyUNS4H

AS (@diarioas) January 15, 2018

This mirrors very closely the situation last summer, when Portuguese outlet A Bola first broke the news that Ronaldo wanted out of Madrid due to anger at tax fraud charges, and his advisors at Gestifute confirmed he was definitely leaving Spain with Manchester among the preferred destinations.

Not even that was the first time that the idea has surfaced of Ronaldo returning to United, where he scored 118 goals in 292 games between 2003 and 2009 and won seven trophies including a Champions League before leaving in a then world-record 80 million transfer.

Around the two legs of Madrid's Champions League semifinal against Manchester City in April 2016 there was plenty of English and Spanish media talk about how much he had enjoyed his time in England, and could potentially finish his career back at Old Trafford.

Coincidentally [or not] that was just when contract negotiations between Perez and Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, were also making very slow progress. A deal was finally reached the following September, which at the time made Ronaldo the best-paid player in world football.

In 2014, there was complimentary talk from Ronaldo when Madrid faced United in Michigan in the International Champions Cup. A few weeks later, United fans hired a plane to fly a "Come home Ronaldo" banner overhead as Madrid played a La Liga game at Villarreal.

So you can understand why, according to United sources consulted by ESPN FC, the English club reckon Ronaldo is merely trying to force a better deal out of Madrid. United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been burnt before by other Blancos players including Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, and even Fabio Coentrao.

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