Cristiano Ronaldo said he will remain with Real Madrid until his contract expires in 2018. Reuters/Juan Medina

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has hinted he will see out his contract with the Spanish club, setting up rumours of him heading back to the English Premier League to play for Manchester United.

After picking up his third Pichichi prize at Madrid’s Teatro Goya for finishing as La Liga’s top scorer in 2014-2015 with 48 goals, Ronaldo clamped down speculations about transferring to another club by dropping a bombshell about his future with Real. The 31-year-old Portuguese revealed he plans to play at Santiago Bernabeu for the next two years, but would consider other options once his contract expires in 2018.

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"I want to stay here two more years. The two years I'm talking about take me to the end of my contract," Ronaldo said as quoted by Spanish newspaper AS. "And the future, we'll see."

Ronaldo, a two-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, became the most expensive footballer in the world after he left Man United for Real in 2009 for a staggering transfer fee of £80 million. Over the last few years, the Portuguese goal machine has been linked with a reunion with the Red Devils, but the Madrid-based club has always been able to hold on to Ronaldo.

Ronaldo will be 33 by 2018, but he would still be a quality signing on-and-off the field for United, which could potentially boost the club’s marketing sales if the Portuguese took back his No. 7 shirt. However, according to Ben Hayward of Goal, Ronaldo may be past his prime when his contract expires in 2018.

“And by then [2018], replacing Ronaldo is likely to be top of their list of priorities,” Hayward noted. “Because he is already slightly past his physical peak and at the age of 33, the time may just be right for the two parties to go their separate ways.”