Cristiano Ronaldo would appear to have quashed chances of a sensational return to Manchester United this summer by revealing that he expects to sign a new contract with Real Madrid. The fact that the Portuguese forward will be entering the final two years of his current deal without any previous indications of an extension being signed has fuelled speculation that he could be set to leave the Bernabeu. And there have been regular reports that United were looking to finance a deal to bring the player back to a club which he left in a record £80 million deal in 2009.
However, despite claiming that he was “sad” earlier in the season, Ronaldo now suggests that the signing of a new contract is a matter of "when" rather than "if."
"I haven't spoken to anyone yet,” he said, according to Spanish publication Marca. “I know we'll reach an agreement on a new contract. The most important thing now is the national team.”
Meanwhile, Madrid president Florentino Perez has also explained that he expects the 28-year-old to stay at the Bernabeu for some time to come. “Cristiano's dream is to retire at Madrid, and the club wants the same thing,” he said. “He's never told me he wants to leave.”
There he could be better news for United in their hopes of signing Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. Despite the Premier League champions’ long-standing interest in the Poland international, it had appeared that he would be heading to Bayern Munich, having revealed that personal terms had already been agreed.
However, understandably Dortmund are reluctant to sanction the departure of another one of their most prized assets to their biggest rivals following the Bavarians’ capture of Mario Gotze. “Robert Lewandowski will definitely not move to Bayern Munich in 2013,” Dortmund president Hans-Joachin Watzke told German publication Bild. “This is final.”
With Lewandowski having just a year remaining on his contract, Dortmund would be unable to prevent Lewandowski leaving for Bayern for nothing next summer. The development, though, may give United hope that they could swoop in and capture the 25-year-old if he is determined to leave Dortmund ahead of the current season.
One player that would be open to a move to Old Trafford is Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye. The France international has regularly been linked with United in the past year and he has revealed that he would be keen on joining the Red Devils should the opportunity arise.
"Yes of course, I like this club for a long time," he said, according to the Guardian. "I like what they do, the boss [Sir Alex Ferguson] has left, but they have appointed a very good successor [David Moyes], and he did some very good things with Everton. They are always well placed amongst the big clubs, yes for sure it could be an interesting challenge but like I said for the moment, there is nothing concrete and I am still at Newcastle."
It is another midfielder that United appear to be focusing on, however. Recent reports have suggested that United could turn their long-standing interest in PSV Eindhoven’s Kevin Strootman into a firm offer in the coming weeks. And Dutch website FC Update has now stated that United’s head scout Jim Lawlor was at the European Under-21 Championship match between the Netherlands and Russia on Sunday with the speculation being that Strootman was the main object of his attention. When asked about the chances of a transfer after the match, the 23-year-old full senior Netherlands international refused to discuss the matter.