Manchester United could get around the financial obstacle of bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club by offering both David De Gea and Nani to Real Madrid in part exchange, according to the Sun.
Reports in Spain in the past week have claimed that Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford for £80 million in 2009, is set to turn down Madrid’s offer of a new contract amid stories of his discontent with the Spanish champions.
United have repeatedly been mentioned as a leading contender to resign the 27-year-old, although it is difficult to envisage how the club would afford Madrid’s asking price which is unlikely to be less than the world record fee they paid for him.
The Sun, though, reports that De Gea and Nani could be sent to the Bernabeu coupled with £60 million to secure Ronaldo. The Daily Mail reported that Madrid are considering a £22 million bid for Spanish goalkeeper De Gea as a potential replacement for Iker Casillas.
The Madrid captain was controversially left out of Madrid’s recent loss to Malaga as reports swirl of a rift with manager Jose Mourinho. However, with Mourinho widely reported to be leaving the club at the end of the season, it appears that Casillas will be staying put.
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Although Nani is believed to be unsettled at United with just 18 months remaining on his contract, it would also be a surprise were Madrid to target the Portugal international.
United could being in a much less expensive winger with the Guardian reporting that they are one of four clubs poised to battle it out for Crystal Palace starlet Wilfried Zaha. Along with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, United are believed to be monitoring the 20-year-old’s situation with a view to a £10 million move.
Palace are reluctant to lose the man who recently made his England debut leave next month, however Zaha’s desire for a move and the potential financial compensation could force their hand.
"To be honest, if I had the chance in January and Palace agreed, it's something I'd want," Zaha said, according to the Guardian. "I'm not a teenager any more. I've played more than 100 first-team games and this year is crucial to develop my football career. I want to establish myself in the Premier League and in international football."
While Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed the idea of doing any business in next month’s transfer window, the Sun has reported that the Premier League leaders could make a high-profile move for Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder.
The Dutch attacking midfielder looks set to leave the club having been frozen out of the Inter side reportedly after failing to accept a cut in his wages.
The 28-year-old has now made clear his desire to leave.
“It’s clear it is the best for everyone concerned that in January I am transferred,” he said, according to the Sun.
Sneijder, who was close to joining United in the summer of 2011, could be available for a cut-price £11 million.
The Daily Mirror reports that Ferguson is already planning his transfer business for the summer and is interested in bringing in Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente. The Spain international will be out of contract in the summer and has already confirmed that he will be leaving Bilbao.
The 27-year-old club will doubtless be interesting several of Europe’s big clubs, although United are reportedly keen on Borussia Dortmund front man Robert Lewandowski.