Manchester United are stepping up their attempts to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, according to the Sun. After being linked for much of the past season with a move to re-sign the player they sold for a record £80 million in 2009, it is now claimed that United are prepared to offer in excess of £65 million for the Portuguese star.
Ronaldo has admitted to being unsettled at Madrid and Portuguese publication A Bola reported this week that he has rejected the chance to sign a new contract. With the 28-year-old entering the final two years of his contract, Madrid are faced the prospect of their biggest asset’s value decreasing if he does not commit to a new deal. It has been reported that the Spanish side are serious about trying to sign Tottenham’s Gareth Bale this summer, potentially as a replacement for Ronaldo.
It seems likely, though, that Madrid could recoup more money elsewhere than the player’s former club. Indeed, it has been strongly claimed that big-spending Paris Saint-Germain were prepared to offer €100 million (£85m). Ronaldo’s emotional reasons for wanting to come back to the club where he lifted the European Cup in 2008 may have also been diminished since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Yet, the Sun believes that Ronaldo is still keen on a return and has put his house in the Spanish capital up for sale. For their part, United are said to be willing to offer to make Ronaldo their joint top earner alongside Wayne Rooney on £250,000 a week.
New United boss David Moyes is also increasing his efforts to bring about a personal reunion with Leighton Baines, according to the Daily Mail. Baines was heavily linked with a move to United last summer before the club eventually signed Alexander Buttner as a backup for Patrice Evra. The Frenchman, who had previously endured a dip in form, had a fine past season and there would appear little need to sign a new first-choice left back. Yet, the recent reports over a move for Baines come on the back of Evra being linked with a return to his former club Monaco.
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Moyes’ first signing as United boss, though, will be Netherlands international Kevin Strootman, at least according to Dutch sources cited by the Daily Star. The tabloid believes that the PSV Eindhoven midfielder, who United have been linked to for over a year will finally arrive in a £10 million deal. The 23-year-old has already captained his country and would potentially provide an all-round presence to a midfield that has lost Paul Scholes to retirement.
One player that won’t be moving to Old Trafford any time soon is Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller. A transfer always looked far-fetched given that the Germany international has just completed the treble and he has now confirmed that he has no desire to leave the Bavarians, despite reports linking him with a switch.
“There are always enquiries, especially after a season like that," he told German publication Kicker. "It's an acknowledgement of my performance. However, I'm not thinking about leaving Bayern after this season."