Cristiano Ronaldo’s booking against Republic of Ireland could well have ensured that his debut will take place against Newcastle on 11th September.
With the Portuguese megastar now suspended from his side’s next World Cup qualifier, he is reportedly on his way back to Manchester to reunite with his old team as soon as possible.
It was quite the evening for the 36-year-old, who scored two late goals to not only give Portugal a dramatic victory over Ireland, but take him clear at the top of the all-time international scoring charts.
After taking his shirt off during an understandably raucous celebration, he was shown a yellow card which ruled him out of their next competitive tie with Azerbaijan.
According to RTP, Ronaldo may have done this on purpose in order to fly back to England ahead of schedule.
The report also states that the former Juventus man has a ‘strong desire’ to start training as soon as possible for the Red Devils, with a lack of game time marring the start of his season for the Bianconeri.
If he does fly straight to Manchester as reported, there is an increased chance that United fans will see him make his second debut against Newcastle.
It would be a momentous day for the Old Trafford faithful, with Ronaldo returning to the famed pitch a full 18 years after his initial debut in 2003.
At present, the majority of the United squad are away on international duty, so it is unclear exactly when Ronaldo would be able to slot into full training with his team-mates.
He seems pumped for the occasion, however, telling TNT after Wednesday’s game: “It’s going to be beautiful.
“I want to prepare well because we know the Premier League is very difficult.
“This [against Ireland] was my first game of 90 minutes. I felt a little difficulty, but little by little, things are coming out.”
As if the fairy-tale situation was not good enough for Ronaldo, he has also been handed the esteemed No 7 jersey at Old Trafford after it was vacated by Edinson Cavani.
A prestigious number worn by the likes of David Beckham, Eric Cantona and, of course, himself, it marks the resumption of a dominant era when the Portuguese megastar routinely set Old Trafford alight.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will undoubtedly call on all of his former team-mate’s experience, hard work and quality to help them in what is sure to be a competitive Premier League season at the top.
In many ways, the international break could not have gone better for both Ronaldo and United.
For the player, he broke the international goal-scoring record in emphatic fashion, while United will get to welcome back their new superstar sooner than expected after an impromptu shirtless celebration.