LONDON (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo would always be welcomed back to play for Manchester United but manager Alex Ferguson doubts he will return because the Real Madrid man is now “unbuyable”.
The Portuguese forward, 27, joined United for 12 million pounds from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and left for Real Madrid for a world record fee of 80 million in July 2009.
Coincidentally, he will be playing again in Manchester on Wednesday - but for Real at Manchester City in the Champions League.
“I’d like to think the door would always be open for him to come back, but I don’t think it will happen,” Ferguson told British Sunday newspapers.
”You’re talking about incredible amounts of money now. What would you think his value would be?
”He’s definitely unbuyable. Who could afford to buy him? There’s talk of the Russians perhaps. But do you think he would go to Russia?
“He complained about the weather here, let alone the middle of winter in Russia.”
Ronaldo won three Premier League titles at United as well as the Champions League in 2008 and has since gone on to contend for the title of the world’s best player with Barcelona rival Lionel Messi since moving to Spain three years ago.
“He was definitely good value for Real Madrid, but he always wanted to play for them. It was his boyhood dream. I am not saying he will stay there forever, you never know,” Ferguson added.
“How do you know we’ve not got a buy-back clause for him?”
Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Mark Meadows