Cristiano Ronaldo

Florentino Perez laughs off Cristiano Ronaldo return to Real Madrid talk

Toby Cudworth
Florentino Perez (left) watching Real Madrid take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup
Florentino Perez (left) watching Real Madrid take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez appears to have closed the door on a return to the club for Cristiano Ronaldo, whose future at Manchester United continues to be called into question.

The superstar Portugal forward has been eyeing an exit from Old Trafford this summer, with his discontent at United fuelled by his desire to continue playing Champions League football.

Not even the arrival of new manager Erik ten Hag appears to have appeased Ronaldo, who came on a substitute during last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Brighton on the opening day of the Premier League season after missing the majority of pre-season.

Chelsea and Bayern Munich have both been linked with Ronaldo this summer, but a departure to either looks unlikely at this stage with United not keen to part ways.

A return to Real Madrid hasn't ever appeared to be on the cards, but fans of the club have long clamoured for Ronaldo to return after his surprise departure in 2018. But Perez, who failed to convince Kylian Mbappe to join from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, has seemingly closed the door on any possible return.

Responding to fans at a hotel in Helsinki, who asked Perez to take Ronaldo back to the Santiago Bernabeu, the club's president jokingly replied: "Sign Cristiano? Again? He's 38 years old!"

Ronaldo scored an astonishing 450 goals in his 438 appearances for Real Madrid, establishing himself as one of the club's greatest ever players. He won the Champions League four times in the space of five seasons between 2014 and 2018, but only managed to win two La Liga crowns amid a period of sustained dominance from rivals Barcelona.