Manchester United have not given up hope of re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo despite Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.
The Portuguese is unwilling to extend his Real Madrid contract however a return to United seemed to hinge heavily on Ferguson, who Ronaldo regards as a surrogate father.
Despite the Scot's retirement United are considering a £65 million-plus-player deal for 28-year-old Ronaldo, who spent six years at Old Trafford, claim the Sun.
Ferguson remains in contact Ronaldo, who is still friendly with several of United's first-teamers. The 71-year-old's ambassadorial role would aid United's dwindling clout in the transfer market, as David Moyes prepares for his debut campaign at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo is four years into a six-year deal with Madrid but, as Arsenal have known to their cost, players who enter the final two years of their contract often render the club's powers of persuasion impotent.
Nike, whose 12-year partnership with United could end next year, would help fund Ronaldo's return. The Portugal captain has been a client of the American sportswear firm for 10 years yet has played in adidas kits with Madrid the last four seasons.
Paris St. Germain are keen to re-emphasise their status as a new force to reckon with on the continent and might also enter any auction for Ronaldo. Despite an ambivalent relationship with José Mourinho, Chelsea could bid for him as well.
Madrid spent a world record £80m to secure Ronaldo from United in 2009 but cannot expect to make a profit on their prized asset. Selling Ronaldo would effectively instigate a move for Tottenham's Gareth Bale, keenly courted by the nine-time European champions.
Although Ronaldo's has emerged into a more formidable player at Real he said in September he was feeling "sad" at the club and has admitted he misses the friendly atmosphere of United compared to the bickering factions of the Bernabéu.
He has won Copa del Rey and Primera Liga winner's medals with Madrid but Ronaldo has experienced two trophyless terms out of four with Los Blancos. He won eight trophies in six seasons with United.
Ronaldo admitted he felt "shy" when he faced United at Old Trafford in the Champions League last season, yet still scored in both legs to eliminate the Red Devils in the last 16.