Cristiano Ronaldo has decided to "reconsider" plans to depart Real Madrid this summer after being won over by reassuring comments from club president Florentino Perez, seemingly ending Manchester United's hopes of re-signing him.
Last Friday (16 June) it emerged that the four-time Ballon d'Or winner was "outraged" following allegations he knowingly failed to pay up to £13m ($16.6m) in taxes to the Spanish authorities. Sources later confirmed to IBTimes UK that the player had decided to leave the Spanish and European champions.
The Portugal international was immediately linked with a return to Manchester United, with Paris Saint-Germain the only other side seriously in the frame after Bayern Munich dismissed reports of their interest.
Real president Perez, who was re-elected to his position unopposed this week, gave a lengthy interview with Onda Cero on Monday (19 June) which was inevitably dominated by the subject of Ronaldo.
Perez defended the 32-year-old, insisting the latest tax scandal to engulf one of football's biggest names was merely a "misunderstanding". He said the club was "relaxed" over the whole situation and claimed they were not contemplating his exit.
Those assuring words would appear to have registered with the reigning player of the year. According to Spanish daily AS, Ronaldo was pleased with what the Real president had to say – even though he expected to hear it a little earlier.
Ronaldo is currently on international duty with Portugal at the Confederations Cup, but, according to the report, has told his teammates that Perez's words were "better late than never" and have conveniently led to him having a change of heart.
Ronaldo is now strongly reconsidering an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu and will meet with Perez face-to-face to discuss the matter when he returns to Spain.
Ronaldo has frequently been linked with a potential return to Manchester United following his £80m move to the Spanish capital in 2009. While Sky Sports have claimed the Premier League side would have some concerns over the inevitable media circus that would accompany his return, the club have swiftly been established as one of only two in Europe with a realistic chance of signing the superstar.
The prospect of one of the club's best ever players returning to Old Trafford inevitably excited Manchester United fans watching the saga unfold, with Ronaldo's former teammate Rio Ferdinand one of the many to register his enthusiasm over a possible homecoming.
But the furore over Ronaldo's future could be over just as quickly as it stared, with early signs now suggesting an amicable solution between the player and Real is very much in reach.