Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Manchester United on a two-year deal

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return has been confirmed after he signed a two-year deal with the club.

The 36-year-old’s move – a stand-out highlight of the transfer window which closes today – was teed-up on Friday and rubber-stamped just after 9.30am.

Juventus said that United had agreed to pay £12.86million for their former forward, with the deal potentially rising by a further £6.86m, and the Red Devils soon said he had signed a two-year contract with the option for a third.

The five-time world player of the year, who was being linked with Manchester City prior to it emerging that he was set to head back to Old Trafford, is returning 12 years after leaving United for Real Madrid.

He had six seasons with the Red Devils that saw him score 118 goals in 292 appearances and help them win three Premier League titles, a Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup, one FA Cup and two League Cups.

Ronaldo then spent nine years with Real, during which he tasted Champions League glory a further four times and became the LaLiga outfit’s all-time top scorer, before moving to Juventus in 2018.

“Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart, and I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement on Friday,” Ronaldo said.

“I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again. I’m looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead.”

Ronaldo, who has scored 109 times in 179 Portugal appearances and was captain for their European Championship success in 2016, was joint top scorer at this summer’s Euros with five goals.

His arrival saw Daniel James head to Leeds on a five-year deal, two-and-a-half-years after the same club’s bid to sign him from Swansea collapsed at the 11th hour.

The PA news agency understands Leeds have paid £25m for the Wales international.

Juventus have moved quickly to replace Ronaldo, bringing in Everton’s Moise Kean on a two-year loan.

Moise Kean impressed with PSG
Moise Kean impressed with PSG (Martin Rickett/PA)

Juve say the loan will be turned into a permanent deal subject to certain conditions being met over the course of the next two years, with a loan fee of seven million euros being paid to Everton.

Twenty-one-year-old Kean joined Everton from Juventus in 2019 and scored four goals across 39 appearance, while he had a successful loan spell on loan at Paris St Germain last season and had been linked with a move to the French capital prior to Lionel Messi’s arrival.

West Ham have strengthened their squad ahead of a busy season which will take in Europa League action, with the signing of Croatia forward Nikola Vlasic.

The 23-year-old – known to Premier League fans for a short stint at Everton – has 26 caps and six goals for his country.

He joins from CSKA Moscow, having been named Russian Premier League player of the year in 2020.

Across London there has been movement at Chelsea, with defender Dujon Sterling signing a new two-year deal and moving on loan to Championship side Blackpool for the rest of the season.

Willian, meanwhile, has apologised over the way things went for him during his time with Arsenal after his contract was terminated by mutual agreement on Monday and he rejoined his first club Corinthians.

The 33-year-old Brazilian winger, who signed for Arsenal last summer following a seven-year spell with Chelsea, said in a post on Instagram: “All my career I have done everything to be the best I can be, I always want to win and I find it hard to accept not doing so. Unfortunately it didn’t happen for me at Arsenal and I am sorry about that.”

Willian also said in the message that he “received a lot of criticism especially from some members of the press that I had come here for financial reasons.”

He added: “I hope with my actions today (I) explain to those people and they now understand that was not the case. I hope it teaches some people that they should not be so quick to pass judgement and create bad environments to make themselves important even though I accept that’s part of the game.”

Wolves’ loan move for Renato Sanches is in the balance with the club struggling to agree a fee with Lille for a permanent option for the midfielder. Boss Bruno Lage would like to add the Portugal international to his squad, despite the 24-year-old being unavailable until the end of September after knee surgery.

Brighton have signed Getafe left-back Marc Cucurella in deal thought to reach £15million.

The 23-year-old has become Brighton’s third summer signing, following Enock Mwepu and Kjell Scherpen through the doors at the Amex Stadium.

“We have been keen to bring Marc to the club, and we are really pleased to finally welcome him here and are excited to begin working with him,” said Brighton boss Graham Potter.

Burnley announced the signing of Wales full-back Connor Roberts from Swansea, the 25-year-old joining on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Leicester midfielder Dennis Praet will spend the rest of the season on loan at Serie A side Torino.

Meanwhile Saido Berahino is back in English football after joining League One Sheffield Wednesday. Berahino has been playing in Belgium since leaving Stoke in 2019.