The Real Madrid star will check in on his old house before the Champions League tie, while his side are preparing to travel to England a day earlier than scheduled for the match
TIDYING UP ALL THE LOOSE STORIES IN FOOTBALL THIS WEEK
RONALDO’s HOME FROM HOME
Cristiano Ronaldo is planning a trip down memory lane when he returns to England for the second leg of Real Madrid’s Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese forward, who moved to the Spanish giants from United in an £80 million deal in 2009, plans to visit the £3m Alderley Edge home which he still owns from his six years with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
The 28-year-old is set for an emotional return to his former club and will prepare for the game by catching up with old friends and checking in on his old house, which he failed to sell for £4m when he left United four years ago.
The Alderley Edge home, a popular location for players at both United and rivals Manchester City, was previously rented out to Adam Johnson for £12,000-a-week until the winger was sold by City to Sunderland last summer.
United supporters should not get too excited about the mansion representing a possible return to the club as it is just one item in an impressive property portfolio built up by Ronaldo throughout the world.
– Greg Stobart
MADRID PLAN EARLY TRIP TO MANCHESTER
Real Madrid will travel to Manchester a day earlier than originally planned – and they have booked the entire top floor of the Lowry Hotel to ensure maximum privacy.
The Spanish club were scheduled to fly to England on Monday but brought forward their flight due to planned industrial action by workers at Iberia airline.
Once in England, they will have their own security staff deployed to ensure no intrusions at the five-star hotel, which was specifically chosen by coach Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho shared tea with Sir Alex Ferguson at The Lowry in November ahead of Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City, and again last month when he was in the country on a scouting mission.
The Lowry is just a three-mile coach journey from Old Trafford and Mourinho clearly has faith that their security has improved after his Chelsea team were once woken at the hotel by a rogue alarm before a big game.
– Paul Clennam
FREUND ABSENT FOR SPURS
Tottenham fans might have noticed the absence of Steffen Freund in the wild touchline celebrations that followed Gareth Bale’s sensational last-minute winner at West Ham on Monday night.
The Spurs assistant coach has returned to Germany for personal reasons and is unlikely to be back on the bench for Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal.
SWANS DEFEAT COULD PROVE COSTLY
Liverpool could prove to be the biggest beneficiaries of Swansea City’s Capital One Cup success.
With the Swans scheduled to play the Reds on the day of their final against Bradford, the decision was made to bring the Premier League clash forward by seven days.
But Michael Laudrup made seven changes to his starting line-up with the Wembley showdown on the horizon and subsequently lost the match 5-0.
And, with both teams closely matched in the table, the result could end up leaving the Welsh club considerably out of pocket.
Premier League prize money is paid out on a staggered basis with each finishing place worth an additional £755,000, meaning that the heavy defeat could prove extremely costly, especially given that Swansea earned just £100,000 for their cup exploits.
– Raoul Simons
PICTURE PERFECT MANCINI
Roberto Mancini has spent recent weeks reminding everyone that he is the most successful manager in the country in recent years, including the Community Shield in his list of achievements.
The Manchester City boss may not display the same public arrogance of someone like Mourinho, but his opinion of himself is reflected by the huge canvas mural hanging in his office … of himself on the touchline.
– Paul Clennam