Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel says it will be great for Old Trafford to witness another Cristiano Ronaldo return after the club were drawn alongside Juventus for the Champions League group stage.
Ronaldo left the club in 2009, but has been back once before, in 2013 with Real Madrid – then managed by current United manager Jose Mourinho – for a Round of 16 tie. He scored in both legs as Madrid knocked out United thanks to a 2-1 win in Manchester, after the first leg had ended 1-1.
“It’s incredible,” said Schmeichel of Ronaldo’s impending return.
“Ronaldo was back at Old Trafford with Real Madrid. That didn’t go too well for Manchester United.
“Hopefully it will be a different story next time, but it’s great to see him back.”
The club have reportedly delayed offering the midfielder a new contract, with his current one set to expire next summer – which means he is free to negotiate with European clubs in the January window.
Herrera has previously stated his desire to stay at Old Trafford, where he is a fan favourite, but the club’s inaction over a new contract has allegedly left him disappointed.
It’s not clear whether the club are having doubts over whether to offer the Spaniard a new contract at all, or if they are simply biding their time.
Manchester United‘s win away to Burnley over the weekend has improved the mood around the club.
Juan Mata told the club’s official website: “On a personal level, the afternoon didn’t start so well for me when I found out I wouldn’t be involved in the game.
“But two things helped me to feel better about myself – the result and the atmosphere from our fans in the stands.
“The passion, spirit, intensity and energy that comes from the fans is the engine that drives football.
“The club is special for a lot of reasons, and undoubtedly one of them is all of you out there. You struggle along with us when we lose and celebrate with us when we win, just like yesterday.”
Fellow United midfielder Marouane Fellaini added: “We have the quality (to win the title), that’s for sure. We have to stick together and play like we did last week in the first half.
“OK, the second half was bad but we have to keep this spirit and think about every game and be positive. I think when we play positive football we do well.
“The spirit was great. Everybody wanted to win. The challenges, the 50-50 balls, everyone wanted to win them, the second balls, too. The spirit is there.”
Fellaini was one of three changes at Burnley and Mourinho said the imposing midfielder played a “fundamental” role.
“I know what I have to do,” the Belgian added. “I have certain experience, 10 years in the Premier League.
“When he gives me a chance I try to give everything. The whole team played well today and that’s the most important thing.”