• Premier League

Irwin: Ronaldo could return to United

ESPN staff
August 4, 2013
Ronaldo 'can choose his position'

Manchester United legend Denis Irwin believes Real Madrid's move for Gareth Bale could spark a transfer merry-go-round which would see Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford this summer.

Ronaldo has long been linked with a move back to United, and the speculation has only mounted with Madrid determined to sign Bale from Tottenham.

United ambassador Irwin has questioned whether the Spanish club can accommodate both players on their wage bill - something he feels could work in his former team's favour.

"So Manchester United have been linked for a second time this summer with a return to Old Trafford for Cristiano Ronaldo," Irwin wrote in his column for Ireland's Sunday World newspaper.

"Of course it could happen, but I believe the speculation may be sparked by the ever-clearer indications that Gareth Bale is on the way from Spurs to Real Madrid.

"Can Real Madrid, rich and all as they are, afford to buy and then pay that brilliant pair of players? If the answer is yes, then Madrid see them as their answer to the [Lionel] Messi and Neymar duo at Barcelona. If the answer is no, then Ronaldo will be allowed leave, and Manchester United is an obvious destination."

But Irwin insists Cesc Fabregas remains manager David Moyes' main target and will "move heaven and earth" to sign the Barcelona midfielder ahead of the new season.

"United want to get Cesc Fabregas before the transfer window closes and preferably before the season starts on Saturday week," he wrote. "Also, they want to keep rather than sell Wayne Rooney.

"I'd say those two deals are the most important bits of business in the in-tray of the bosses at United. If those two players are at the club next season, then it would be a fine summer."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd