In news which is sure to interest Manchester United, it is being suggested that Real Madrid are prepared to cash in on Cristiano Ronaldo during the summer.
The Portugal international left Old Trafford for the Bernabeu in 2009 for a transfer fee of £80million, and he has broken a number of records during a sensational spell in the Spanish capital. Indeed, such is his success it has been murmured in the corridors of his former club that they sold him on the cheap, with Sir Alex Ferguson believed to have rated him at £150million even five years ago.
But despite his glorious tenure at Real, reports this week have claimed the European champions are prepared to let him leave at the end of the season should a suitable offer arrive. The Independent believe president Florentino Perez is looking to further reinvent his squad in the summer, and at 30-years-old in February, there is a danger that Ronaldo’s value will soon drop.
Yet there is little chance the Spaniards would sell the forward for a fee less than £60million, whilst his reported weekly wage expectation of £380,000 would make it a hugely costly deal. For example, if United, who are widely said to be interested in taking him back, were to agree to such a package on a four-year contract, the total cost of the deal would be £140million.
It has previously been reported that the Reds could be reluctant to strike a deal for fear of upsetting a dressing room which already contains high-earners such as record signing Angel di Maria, Holland international Robin van Persie and club captain Wayne Rooney, whilst if they decide to take Radamel Falcao from Monaco on a permanent deal, he would also significantly add to the wage bill.
But this doesn’t appear to be much of a concern to head coach Louis van Gaal. Asked last week if he would be interested in offer Ronaldo a return to Old Trafford should be become available, the Dutchman replied: “When it is possible, what I said with Falcao… players like Cristiano Ronaldo give a lot extra to selection to a team. But I don’t think Real Madrid shall sell him.”
There is also more issues to consider in regards to a possible return to United for Ronaldo. There is no doubt a player of his ability – the best in the world, many believe – would get into the first team, but it would likely result in the departure of an existing option. And van Gaal’s main concern at the moment has to be a back-four which has looked vulnerable all season thus far.
And if Ronaldo does indeed become available during the summer window, it is unlikely United would have a free run at his signature. They would naturally hold an emotional pull for the player, but Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City would be able to match them pound-to-pound when it comes to a finance package, as would French super-powers Paris St Germain.
Despite the money involved, should United simply stump up for Ronaldo? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.