Ronaldo ‘convinces Diego Simeone’ to sign him and is set for return to Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly set for a dramatic return to Madrid – but not in the way that you might think.

Ronaldo spent nine seasons in the Spanish capital with Real between 2009 and 2018, winning two titles, four Champions Leagues and breaking a host of individual records. But it is rivals Atletico who have been linked with a surprise move for the wantaway Manchester United forward.

The 37-year-old has convinced Atletico boss Diego Simeone to bring him to the Wanda Metropolitano, claim Spanish outlet Diario AS. They say that Ronaldo's representatives have spoken to Simeone and persuaded him to sanction a move that would see the veteran ace return to Madrid with Real's next door neighbours.

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Ronaldo was public enemy no.1 with Atletico during his time at the Bernabeu. The Portuguese star bagged 450 goals in 438 matches for Real, including one against Atletico in the 2014 Champions League final, which Real won 4-1.

A switch to Simeone's side would enable Ronaldo to play Champions League football again this season after United failed to qualify for the competition under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick.

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CR7 still has 12 months left on his Old Trafford contract following his dramatic return to the club from Juventus last season. But with less than three weeks to go until the start of the new Premier League campaign, he is yet to return to pre-season training.

Despite a decent return of 24 goals in 38 appearances for the Red Devils last term, Ronaldo has found that there are not a queue of clubs waiting to sign him. Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Napoli have all been linked, while he is also said to have turned down a lucrative move to play in Saudi Arabia.

That leaves his options limited, with a move to Atletico or his first club Sporting Lisbon his two most likely destinations. However, Sporting director Hugo Viana dismissed talk of a sensational reunion recently suggestion that a deal is unlikely to happen.

Viana said: "I think not now – I don't think it is possible, but you never know. He can decide where he goes, but you never know the future. I don't want to talk about that, but he has another year on his contract so whatever he decides, let's see."

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