Despite the impending retirement of manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United appear to remain keen to bring about a sensational return to the club for Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
It has been widely reported that outgoing United chief Executive David Gill was in Madrid on Wednesday night to meet with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes. United have been linked to Ronaldo for much of the season since the forward revealed that he was "sad" at Madrid last September.
Ronaldo has often spoken of his close relationship with Ferguson, forged during the six years he spent at the club before leaving for £80 million in 2009. United’s chances of landing Ronaldo could be negatively impacted, though, by Ferguson’s departure and the appointment of David Moyes.
Gill’s meeting with Medes may also have been blown out of proportion by some in the British press. Mendes represents a host of players and, according to the Independent, Gill is no longer responsible for conducting transfer business.
The Guardian has reported that a move this summer for Ronaldo appears unlikely. While the 28-year-old intends to run down his contract, which expires in 2015, he still aspires to win a Champions League with Madrid.
Moyes also looks set to face an uphill battle should he elect to continue United’s pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. United’s interest in the player first surfaced with an approach for the Poland international last summer.
But Lewandowski has since been heavily linked with Bayern Munich with an agreement between the player and club believed to have been reached as suggested by the 23-year-old’s agent.
Dortmund are understandably reluctant to lose their top scorer to their leading rivals and would prefer to sell him abroad. Yet, even in the Premier League, Chelsea are believed to be in a better bargaining position than United due to Dortmund’s interest in the London club’s midfielder Kevin de Bruyne.
According to the Daily Mail, however, Dortmund are prepared to bow to Lewandowski’s wishes and let him join Bayern should they pay a fee of €25 million (£21m) by May 15.
Moyes’s first transfer activity as Manchester United manager may instead involve picking off the cream of the talent from his current club Everton. Because Moyes will leave Everton after his contract expires, the club will be powerless to stop the Scot from signing his former players.
Both Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini have been linked to United in the past and there are unsurprisingly fresh reports that both could soon be moving to Old Trafford.
Everton are particularly vulnerable to bids for Fellaini with the Belgian midfielder having a clause in his contract allowing him to join a club in the Champions League if a bid of £23 million is received. Fellaini, 25, has previously hinted that he would seek a move to a bigger club at the end of the current campaign.
Baines was thought to have been the subject of interest from United last summer as a potential replacement for left-back Patrice Evra. The Daily Mirror has claimed that Moyes is already planning to spend £40 million to land both Baines and Fellaini.
However, United are believed to have balked at Everton’s valuation of Baines last season and they may be unwilling to spend £17 million on a player who will turn 29 midway through next season.