Football

Madrid up stakes over Ronaldo to frustrate United

Madrid up stakes over Ronaldo to frustrate United
Real Madrid want to make Cristiano Ronaldo the highest-paid player in the world
Published: July 10, 3:34 PM

MANCHESTER — Manchester United are continuing to pursue efforts to tempt Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, four years after selling him to Real for a world record £80  million (S$152 million).

But while senior figures at United have been given encouragement from the Ronaldo camp that the 28‑year‑old would consider a return to the club should he leave Real, Real Madrid president Perez has made it clear that he expects the Portugal captain to remain at the Bernabeu for the rest of his career.

“Ronaldo wants to retire at Real Madrid, and we want him to retire here, just like Zidane and so many other great players did,” Perez said. “You can be absolutely certain that Cristiano will retire at Real Madrid.”

While Ronaldo is understood to be open to the prospect of running down his contract to leave as a free agent in 2015, United believe they can prise him from Madrid this summer if he makes it clear to the Spanish club that he will not extend his contract.

However, The Daily Telegraph reports that Perez is now planning to meet Ronaldo during Real’s four‑game tour of the United States and offer to make him the world’s highest-paid player with a package in excess of the £330,000 a week earned by Samuel Eto’o at Anzhi Makhachkala.

United fly to Bangkok Wednesday lunchtime for the first leg of their tour of the Far East and Australia with progress yet to be made on a move for Everton defender Leighton Baines.

Ed Woodward, the new United chief executive, is due to accompany David Moyes’s squad on the flight to Thailand, but attempts to sign Baines, Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara will continue throughout the three-week tour. AGENCIES