Jose Mourinho has claimed that it is now “prohibited” to make a move for Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo, ruling out a return to Old Trafford for the Ballon d’Or holder.
Manchester United have frequently been linked with a deal for the 33-year-old, who featured for the Red Devils for six years before his switch to Spain in 2009.
Speculation regarding the Portugal international’s future was particularly rife when the five-time Ballon d’Or-winner seemed confidence stripped during the first half of the season, with questions surfacing whether he was still able to perform at the same level.
However, a sensational run of 27 goals since the turn of the year for Los Blancos across all competitions – including a spell of scoring in nine consecutive matches – has put to bed any doubts over the attacker’s ability.
During the early months of the term, this summer was tipped as a potential time for Real Madrid to move their most prized asset on ahead of a major rebuild.
However, while speaking to Portuguese paper the Daily Record, United boss Mourinho has insisted no such deal is now possible; with Florentino Perez portraying very much a “closed door” policy.
“I believe that Real Madrid cannot sell him, it is prohibited,” the Red Devils manager said.
“He has to stay until the moment they authorise him to go and play one year in America or anywhere else that he wants to enjoy. It is a closed door.”
Despite the pair sharing an agent – Jorge Mendes – Mourinho and Ronaldo had a tempestuous relationship during their three-year spell together at Los Blancos.
Back in March, it seemed there was still friction between the two, as although United were said to be keen on landing the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu great, the 55-year-old took a swipe at the free-scoring frontman; insisting that the Champions League finalist was not the best player to carry his name.
“Ronaldo Nazario, the best Ronaldo EVER!,” Mourinho claimed, as quoted by the Daily Mirror.
Cristiano, who won three league titles and the 2008 Champions League with Manchester United, was voted the club’s best ever Premier League player in recent poll – ahead of legends Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.