The season kicks off in 15 days, City and Chelsea have bolstered their squads while United have tip-toed around a number of players and already missed out on a couple of targets this summer. Plenty of reason to be pessimistic about this season? Well yes, but everything could change were United to land a familiar Portuguese.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a return to Old Trafford basically every fortnight since the two sides met in the Champions League last season, with the Portuguese’s reluctance to pen a new deal at the Bernabeu increasing the hopes of many Reds that he would in fact leave the Bernabeu and rejoin United.
The possibility of Ronaldo returning to the club seemed increasingly slim, in truth, considering that one of the main factors thought to be pivotal in a potential return, Sir Alex Ferguson, is no longer in charge and, furthermore, doubts persist over whether United would have the financial capabilities to convince Real Madrid to sell.
The Daily Star, however, believes that United could be set for the transfer of the summer as the club is increasingly convinced that the Portuguese star could indeed return to Old Trafford, after a deal worth about £80m and twelve days of intense negotiation, which began when David Moyes enquired about Ronaldo about two weeks ago.
Moyes, claims the Star, was on the phone with Real Madrid as soon as he was made aware of the Spanish giants’ interest for Gareth Bale, which has since been stepped up to the point where the Welshman seems on the verge of completing a move to the Bernabeu for a whopping nine-digit figure.
Ed Woodward is thought to have personally contacted Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, buoyed by the fact that Ronaldo was yet to agree a contract extension on his current deal with the Madrid club which runs out in 2015. The Real Madrid president was convinced Ronaldo would extend his contract but, claims the Star, was shocked to discover that Ronaldo has his heart set on a return to Old Trafford.
If Ronaldo stayed another season at the club without extending his contract, Real Madrid would face the prospect of either losing him for nothing in two years or losing him for a smaller fee than they can command this summer, hence their decision to begin talks with Manchester United and their stubborn pursuit of Gareth Bale.
United would have to fork out around £80m in transfer fees alone to secure Ronaldo whose wages could be partly paid by General Motors. The American car giants are willing to make Ronaldo their global ambassador, while Chevrolet, owned by GM and United’s main sponsor from the 2014-15 season, are desperate to boost their profile.
Fantasy football? Probably, but in a world where players are sold for more than £100m one can’t, quite frankly, rule anything out.
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