What Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United means for the club: Craig Burley gives some insight as to why he thinks Cristiano Ronaldo chose to head back to Manchester after 12 years away.

Cristiano Ronaldo has left Juventus and will return to Manchester United, the Premier League club announced on Friday, in a €15 million deal with a potential further €8m in add-ons, according to ESPN sources.

The 36-year-old will again play at Old Trafford 12 years after leaving United to join Real Madrid in 2009, where he remained until joining Juventus in 2018.

United posted a collage of Ronaldo from his previous playing days at the club on Twitter along with the words: “Welcome home, @Cristiano.”

A statement from United read, “Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical.

“Cristiano, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, has so far won over 30 major trophies during his career, including five Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cup, seven league titles in England, Spain and Italy, and the European Championship for his native Portugal.

“In his first spell for Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games. Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.”

Ronaldo soon took to Instagram, saying he gave his “heart and soul for Juventus.”

“I’ll always love the city of Turin until my final days,” he wrote. He never won the Champions League with Juventus, like he did with United in 2008 and four times with Madrid, but was the top scorer in Serie A for the last two seasons and scored 101 goals in 134 appearances.

“In the end,” Ronaldo said, “we can all look back and realize that we achieved great things, not all that we wanted, but still, we wrote a pretty beautiful story together.”

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, once a teammate of Ronaldo, said: “He is the greatest player of all time, definitely.”

He first joined United from Portuguese side Sporting CP in 2003. In the following six years, he swiftly became one of the most fearsome strikers in the world, winning the first of his five FIFA world player of the year awards.

The Portugal international then left for Madrid in 2009 for a then-world-record fee of £80 million but will now make an emotional return.

ESPN reported in June that Ronaldo’s representatives were gauging interest from some of Europe’s top clubs ahead of his potential departure from Juventus this summer after three years in Italy.

Manchester City were one of the clubs who looked at the possibility, but on Friday sources told ESPN they had pulled out of the race.

Rio Ferdinand has confirmed that he spoke to his former United teammate asking him not to move to the Etihad Stadium.

Talks between Ronaldo, United and Juventus began on Thursday night.

Ronaldo did not train with Juventus on Friday, and instead left Italy on a private jet. Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri later confirmed that Ronaldo had asked to leave the club before the transfer deadline on Aug. 31.

It is the latest blockbuster move of the transfer window, coming barely two weeks after Lionel Messi — Ronaldo’s long-time rival — joined Paris Saint-Germain after his contract at Barcelona expired. PSG forward Kylian Mbappe is also the subject of a bid from Real Madrid.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Originally published on CNN.com

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