Cristiano Ronaldo has said he did “think about” Manchester United during the summer as the club waged a campaign to re-sign him from Real Madrid.

Ronaldo left United for Madrid for 80 million pounds in 2009, but during the summer the Premier League champions had invested significant effort in attempting to persuade the Portugal forward to return to Old Trafford.

Rio Ferdinand recently revealed that he had made a personal effort to try to convince his former teammate to make the switch but, ultimately, Ronaldo committed to a new five-year contract at the Bernabeu in September and said at the time: “Everyone knows I was in Manchester for six years, but Manchester is in the past.”

Speaking after he claimed the 2013 Ballon d’Or on Monday night, Ronaldo told The Times that Ferdinand had been in regular contact over a transfer and insisted he had given thought to the prospect of a return.