Cristiano Ronaldo wants a sensational return to Manchester United.
And former United manager Alex Ferguson could hold the key to any move.
Even ex-Bernabeu chief Ramon Calderon admits Ron has United “in his heart”.
Ronaldo stunned the football world by telling Real Madrid that he is determined to quit the European champions.
And Calderon, who bagged Ronaldo for £80million in 2009, is adamant the Portuguese superstar still loves the Red Devils.
In an exclusive interview with SunSport, Calderon revealed: “I remember when I signed Cristiano, he phoned me and said everyone at Manchester United was really happy and kind to him.
“Sir Alex Ferguson was like a father and he loved the fans.
“The club has been very important in his career. Manchester United is a club he has in his heart.”
Ron and Fergie remain very close and embraced at last month’s Champions League final in Cardiff, after which Fergie presented his former star with the man-of-the-match award.
Ronaldo wants out of Madrid believing they have failed to back him over a charge of defrauding the Spanish taxman to the tune of £13million.
It is said his decision to quit the Bernabeu after eight years is irreversible.
Calderon added: “I had the same situation with Manchester United when he decided to leave and I signed him.
“He says I want to leave and that’s it, as a president you can’t do anything other than let him go and get the best possible deal.”
Ronaldo signed a new five-year deal last November worth £365,000 a week but United can match that.
It is understood there is an £870m buyout in the contract but that, realistically, Real will want £150m.
United would not want to pay that for the 32-year-old but keeper David De Gea, 26, could be used as a bargaining tool.
United’s pursuit of striker Alvaro Morata, 24, who Real value at £90m, would also be thrown into the mix.
So you could conceivably have a mind-boggling deal of £180m plus De Gea for the pair.
Calderon said: “I’m sure Cristiano won’t leave Europe.
“I don’t think he would go and play in China or the Middle East. He’s very fit, in good shape and playing very well.
“Ronaldo would cost more than Paul Pogba because he is a better player. Anyone who wants him will be prepared to pay him a lot of money.”
Boss Jose Mourinho will have the final say, of course, and he and Ronaldo fell out towards the end of the Special One’s final season in charge at Real.
But club director Fergie would be on hand to smooth the path for Ronaldo to end his career at Old Trafford.
The former boss said after selling him to Real that he believed the player would return to the club one day.