By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The Barclays Premier League club sold Ronaldo to Real for £80million in the summer of 2009, but The Sun newspaper claims the Portugal captain could return to Old Trafford for much less at the start of next season.
The report believes if Ronaldo, who will have two years left on his contract in the summer, "genuinely wants to leave" then the current holders of La Liga would have little option but to sell their star player at a cut-price fee or risk losing him for even less in 2014.
Ronaldo is valued by Madrid at £122million and The Sun understands United could land their man for around £60million with David de Gea and possibly Nani going the other way as part of a cash plus player deal.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson maintains a close relationship with Ronaldo, who has often referred to the Scot as his 'father in football'. As a result, the same publication speculated he would be able to convince Ronaldo to accept a salary offer of around £300K a week to finalise a deal for the 27-year-old despite Paris Saint Germain reportedly ready to offer £500K a week.
Intriguingly, Real face United in a mouthwatering round of 16 clash in the UEFA Champions League. In addition to Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford for the first time since his transfer to the Spanish capital, the other storyline lingers around Real coach Jose Mourinho's future.
Mourinho has constantly been linked to the United job and observers feel Real's two-leged tie with United will serve as his audition for Ferguson's role.
"We face a team coached by an icon amongst coaches," Mourinho said at the Soccer Globe awards last week.
"Ferguson is the only one who wants to have a chat while drinking a very, very, very expensive wine... so, the trip will be a little expensive for me because I'll have to buy him a good wine.
"It will be exciting and we are motivated to beat a team with an opposing philosophy to Real Madrid".
He added: "He's [Ronaldo] a star, everybody wants a player like him because of his personality and determination."
Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.