Cristiano Ronaldo hopes of ever making a return to Manchester United have been ended by the club signing Alexis Sanchez.
Ronaldo has always been open to the prospect of making an emotional return to Old Trafford when he leaves Real Madrid.
And reports in Spain have suggested the world footballer of the year had been trying to secure a move back to United at the end of this season.
But it is understood Jose Mourinho has told agent Jorge Mendes he is no longer interested in bringing the 32-year-old into his squad at Old Trafford.
The impending arrival of Arsenal star Sanchez in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan means Mourinho now has the creative attacking midfielder he feels his squad has lacked.
And to add to the finality of Ronaldo’s hopes being dashed, Mourinho will hand Sanchez the number seven shirt that the Real star had hoped to regain.
Super agent Mendes has contacted Mourinho recently to enquire whether he would be open to striking a deal for the Portuguese superstar.
But Mourinho appears to have emphatically rejected that idea, deciding the player is no longer at the peak of his powers and not a good option for United.
Instead he is bringing in Sanchez who is three years younger, still at his peak and proven to be able to deliver in the Premier League.
There is a feeling he will help bring drive and aggression sometimes lacking going forward, sometimes lacking in the United squad this season.
There has been too much reliance on Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to fire, and Mourinho has moved swiftly to address the problem.
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It was hoped Mkhitaryan would do that job when he arrived in a £30million deal from Borussia Dortmund 18 months ago.
But the Armenian has struggled with the tactical demands of his manager, and has been jettisoned quickly for a better option.
United still place a lot of hope in Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to develop into top class players, but at this stage they are regarded as too inconsistent.
The arrival of Sanchez gives more options for United in attack, and also takes the pressure of Martial and Rashford who will be allowed to continue their development properly.
Sanchez has already said his farewells to the Arsenal squad after leaving the team hotel ahead of today’s match against Crystal Palace.
And Mkhitaryan is expected to agree the terms on his deal with the Gunners over the weekend, allowing the transfer to be completed on Monday.