As Cristiano Ronaldo nears a return to Manchester United, Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand have given their bits on the transfer.

Only yesterday, Manchester United supporters were in deep anguish over reporters of Cristiano Ronaldo’s imminent move to neighbours Manchester City. Their club, however, chose to shock the world by signing the Portuguese instead, to a rapturous reception from fans worldwide.

Ronaldo sealed his move back to Manchester United from Juventus and is on the verge of returning to the club he left in 2009. Much is expected from the Portuguese, and many believe it certainly makes United title contenders again. There have been many reactions from players, pundits and fans alike, including Rio Ferdinand, who was worried at the prospect of his former colleague signing for City.

The Manchester Evening News posted comments from Ferdinand, where he reveals a phone call to Ronaldo to confirm if the Man City rumours were true. Ferdinand said, “I rang him straight away; what’s going on? Tell me you’re lying. Every type of no, no, no in the conversation.

“I’m like all the fans, I’m exactly the same, and we are all the same like that. Please tell me you’re not going there. Sir Alex Ferguson would have been the exact same; he would have hated to see Cristiano in a Man City shirt, just like any other person that’s been connected for a long period of time at this football club.”

Meanwhile, Gary Neville suggested Ronaldo’s return will lift the club and its supporters while giving them hope for a great season ahead. Speaking to Sky Sports, the former full-back had praise for the signing while suggesting it would have been bad if he had signed up for Manchester City.

Neville said, “It’s fantastic news. It’s a little bit nostalgic, which doesn’t always work in football, but the idea of Ronaldo going to Manchester City was torture for United fans. If there is a big player available, United have to be in the market. We know there’s a potential that Erling Haaland could be available next summer; Edinson Cavani’s probably got a year, they definitely need a centre-forward option with Cavani.

“I know they’ve got Mason Greenwood, but if you look at the business Chelsea have done, that Manchester City were looking to do, Manchester United had to compete, and what they’ve done is bolster the squad with a proven goalscorer, a club legend, and it’s going to give them an incredible 12 months.

“Ronaldo will be coming to win trophies, personal accolades, set the Premier League on fire. It is a different Ronaldo; everyone expected that,” he added. With an agreement in place with Juventus and personal terms and medical expected to be no issues, the 36-year-old could soon be announced as Manchester United’s fourth signing of the summer, capping off a brilliant transfer window.

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