'Holy hell': Football world in shock over Cristiano Ronaldo transfer

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·Sports Editor
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Cristiano Ronaldo, pictured here in action for Juventus and Manchester United.
Cristiano Ronaldo will move from Juventus to Manchester United. Image: Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo has shocked the football world after agreeing to a bombshell transfer back to the Premier League with Manchester United.

United announced on Friday they had secured a deal with Juventus that was subject to the agreement of personal terms, a medical and a visa.

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It capped a remarkable turn of events after reports just hours earlier had suggested Ronaldo, a five-time world player of the year, was poised to sign for United's cross-town rivals Manchester City.

United said in their announcement: "Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester."

United will reportedly pay 15 million euros ($A24 million), plus 8 million euros ($A13 million) in potential add-ons.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for Manchester United between 2003 and 2009 before leaving Old Trafford for Real Madrid, where his successes took him to a new level of global fame and included four Champions League titles.

The Portuguese star had also been linked with Paris St Germain but City, after missing out on signing Harry Kane from Tottenham, had appeared the favourites to secure his services.

The champions are understood to have been offered Ronaldo's services, but after giving a potential deal some consideration decided it was not something they wished to pursue.

City felt Ronaldo was not the right fit for Pep Guardiola's squad, and despite the Kane frustration the manager himself is happy enough with the players he already has.

For their part, United had not been looking to sign Ronaldo but seized the opportunity when it became clear he wanted to leave Juve.

Cristiano Ronaldo, pictured here in action for Manchester United in 2008.
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Manchester United in 2008. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Manchester United over the moon to have Ronaldo back

United's stars, past and present, have welcomed 'home' the Portuguese great after a 12-year absence.

Ronaldo's former teammate Rio Ferdinand believes coaching legend Sir Alex Ferguson must have played a role.

"Cristiano and Sir Alex Ferguson have got a bond," Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel.

"Very few players get to have that in their career with a manager. Sir Alex played a massive part.

"There was no way Cristiano was coming to Man United without speaking to Sir Alex. Simple as that."

Ferdinand praised the United board for moving quickly after City had appeared to be the 36-year-old's likely destination.

"Wow! The pendulum has swung. What a 24 hours. Man United have done what they needed to do," he said.

"The Man United hierarchy ... performed perfectly at every step. There was no looking over their shoulder, no hesitancy about it."

Ferdinand said Ronaldo's arrival re-establishes United as the "hottest ticket" in world football.

He added: "You can't put into words what it's going to do for the dressing room and the fanbase. He'll get you 25-30 goals this season. That's what he does.

"What he can do for Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho alone is worth bringing. 

"He will show them what an A-lister, genuine superstar and an absolute obsessive professional lives and breathes on a daily basis."

United players and fans took to social media to welcome Ronaldo back to the club he joined in 2003 and where he spent six trophy-laden seasons.

Bruno Fernandes, who reportedly spoke to his Portugal teammate about returning to United, tweeted: "'Agent Bruno'?" alongside emojis of a briefcase and a face with tears of joy.

He also added a cartoon of himself as a youngster watching Ronaldo alongside the caption: "Never stop dreaming...".

United's summer signing Jadon Sancho and fellow England internationals Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard were among a host of current United players to tweet about Ronaldo.

with AAP

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