Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believes Cristiano Ronaldo will retire at the Bernabeu, but that hasn’t stopped speculation that the Portuguese may be on his way out.
However, the comings and goings of Ronaldo or any player will reportedly be put on hold until Madrid finds a new manager to replace Jose Mourinho. Several teams want the 28-year-old responsible for 222 goals in all competitions since joining Madrid in 2009, but none more than his former club, Manchester United.
Perhaps looking to make a splash after the surprise retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils have reportedly been in hot pursuit of Ronaldo. In fact, United officials are hoping Madrid will overreach in their quest for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, and risk offending Ronaldo, according to The Sun.
Already on thin ice after Ronaldo’s perceived lack of support for the world’s major awards, Madrid officials run the risk of spurning him once again if they break the record books with an £85 million bid for the rising 23-year-old Welshman.
“For those players and investments that generate income, you can give everything in life,” Perez said to The Sun. “But we don’t speak of Bale so much because he plays at a friendly club and they will be annoyed.”
United could then swoop in and console Ronaldo, while convincing him another stay in Old Trafford would be worth his time. With Ronaldo on board, the reigning Premier League champions would then offer the Bernabeu £65 million and either Nani or Javier Hernandez, as reported by The Sun.
On Ronaldo Perez also said: “I would bet Cristiano will retire at Real Madrid.”
A player of Bale’s youth and caliber would seem to be a boon to Ronaldo, and could help the club dethrone Barcelona after losing their defense of the La Liga crown by 15 points on the table.
Should the plans for Bale fall through, such as Spurs officials insisting they will not sell him this summer, Madrid does have plans to sign Napoli’s Edinson Cavani.
According to the Guardian, Madrid recently met with Cavani’s team of agents to discuss his first foray out of Serie A since he joined Palermo in 2007. The Uruguayan has become one of the most prolific scorers in Europe, leading all of Serie A with 29 goals this past season.
Madrid is serious enough about the 26-year-old that the Guardian reports Los Blancos are willing to pay his exorbitant buy-out clause of £53.6 million. Chelsea and Manchester City also want Cavani, but not at that price.
To make room for Bale or Cavani, Madrid is still reportedly looking for the best deal for striker Gonzalo Higuain. Many suitors are interested in the Argentine francophone, most notable being Juventus and Arsenal.
Madrid explicitly told Juventus that they will decide Higuain’s future with the club once the new manager is consulted, as reported by the Guardian. The 25-year-old has publicly stated he would like to move on after 187 appearances and 107 goals in six years at Madrid. The club is reportedly seeking no less than £21 million for Higuain.