Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to get the green light to return to Manchester THIS weekend after being suspended for Portugal’s next World Cup qualifier.
His second caution of the qualifying campaign means Ronaldo is out of Tuesday’s match in Azerbaijan, freeing him to go back to Manchester early ahead of his planned Old Trafford return against Newcastle on Saturday week.
But Portugal boss Fernando Santos confirmed he is also considering allowing Ronaldo to miss Saturday’s friendly with Qatar in Hungary, which would mean he could be back in Manchester by this weekend.
Santos said: “I understand why Cristiano did what he did.
“He had very strong emotions, had scored twice to earn us the win – but I think he’s already regretting it.
“Of course the record was always going to happen. If it hadn’t been against Ireland, it would have been another day.
“But now we have to decide if he stays with us at all.
“Now he is suspended, it doesn’t make any sense for him to come with us to Azerbaijan.
“But we also have to travel to Hungary and we must think about whether it is worth taking a player in these conditions.”
In the aftermath of Ronaldo’s celebration, Slovenian referee Matej Jug shrugged and appeared to apologise to him for brandishing the yellow card.
An early return, allowing Ronaldo to integrate himself into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, would be a huge boost for Man Utd and the fans who saw exactly why they are so excited to see the 36-year-old come back to the club after 12 years away.
Sheffield United’s John Egan, who looked to have earned Ireland a shock win before Ronaldo changed the script in the final minutes, conceded: “We managed to contain him for most of the game.
“But we let him escape from us twice and he punished us both times.”